5 Rule Changes That Would Improve Baseball

Steven SimonContributor IIMarch 13, 2012

5 Rule Changes That Would Improve Baseball

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    Baseball has always been a conservative game. Although, obviously, the game has progressed with the times and has created new rules, as well as amending old ones, overall, the game has been slow and afraid of change.

    However, recently, MLB created two more wildcard spots, allowing more teams to get into the playoffs. Finally, the baseball authorities got one right!

    Here are a few other rules they should consider instituting as soon as possible.

Longer Arbitration

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    Right now, baseball teams are able to control young players for a few years, with current arbitration rules. Players like Clayton Kershaw are kept at "reasonable" salaries and under team control.

    However, in my opinion, teams should be able to hold on to their younger players for more years through longer arbitration. This would allow lower-market and lower-budget teams to compete more frequently with the bigger-market and bigger-budget teams.

    By allowing teams to hold on to their young players for longer, teams can develop more players and the emphasis would switch from free agency to development. It would certainly create more buzz around the league with more teams competing. It would also raise fan interest.

No DH

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    The American League has one; the National League doesn't. First and foremost, baseball should get this rule across the board. Either both leagues should have it or they should not.

    In my opinion, the DH should be eliminated because, although it increases offense, it decreases the strategy a manager must use over the course of a game and season.

    More so than the strategy, the DH creates a huge advantage for American League teams when it comes to free agency. By having the DH, an American League team can be less concerned about giving a player a longer contract because they know they can move him to a less demanding role, the DH, as the player ages.

    NL teams do not have that luxury and must consider the defensive liability and the injury proneness to a player having to play both sides of the game over the course of a long season.

Salary Cap

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    All the other major sports have it, and so should baseball!

    The salaries for these players have just run way, way too wild. Not to mention, a salary cap would even the playing field and allow smaller market teams to win more often. It would create a competitive sport rather than seeing the same teams in the playoffs over and over again.

    This one is a must!

Less Instant Replay

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    While I am all for the umpires getting certain calls right, one of the things that makes baseball, and sports, so great is the subjective nature of it.

    There is going to be errors from the officials—sometimes in your favor and sometimes not. It's the way things are. If we lose that then the game will not be as fun to watch, nor will it keep that excitement.

    If baseball goes to an automated balls and strikes call, then there will be no variation in calls and, frankly, no real fun.

    Keep the umpires and keep the subjectivity of what happens on the field. It makes things more exciting and interesting, even if it bites you a few times.

All Players Must Enter the Draft

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    USA players must enter the draft, but neither Japanese nor Latin American players have to. Instead they get to sign with the highest bidder. This is rewarding the big-market teams too much and killing the smaller market teams.

    If all the players have to enter the draft, then we will see a distribution in the talent levels among teams, as well as more competitive baseball. The entire league will get better and, once again, more teams will be competing for the playoffs rather than the same teams year-in and year-out.