You know, as a sports fan, I have always yelled and screamed at those in authority over sports leagues about everything from rules to rulings; from playoffs to pay scales. It got me to wondering what would happen if I were to clone myself (good thing for you ladies, everyone else not so much) 3 times and run the four major sports. Over the next month (hiatus pending), I will give you my take on how I would run the four major sports. I'll kick things off with America's Pastime. With the young talent we have in the game today, its a shame that we got a patsy running it all in Bud Selig. He doesn't know what to do about Pete Rose, can't figure out how to end an All-Star game, and is so scared of steroids, he has to turn to a disgruntled Senator from Pennsylvaniato help him out. Well, move over Selig, Commissioner Vincent Fay Anderson is here to save the day with my 8 Baseball Amendments.
1) Thou Shalt Move The Brewers Back to the AL and send the Royals to the AL West
I compare inter-league play to a high school dance, except this dance has too many boys and not enough girls. We all know what happens in the end, the two dudes who got the shaft sit and chat about what's wrong with the world. That's how it is with Inter-league play. The NL Central always ends up with one of their teams playing someone within the league while everyone else sees new stars and stadiums. By sending the Brew Crew back to their AL roots, you have balanced divisions which will lead to balanced scheduling (more on that later). But I know you're thinking, you got the Brewers in AL, but where do they play and who goes out west. Well, the Royals makes the most geographical sense (other than Houston) plus they deserve a chance to win so we ship them out west and plug the Brewers in their place in the AL Central
2) Thou Shalt Have Balanced Scheduling
The saying goes "So easy, even a caveman can do it." Well, send the caveman this formula and we'll talk.
16 Games vs Division Opponent (4 Teams=64 Total)
8 Games vs Other Teams in League (10 Teams=80 Total)
18 Inter-league Games (12/15 vs Selected Division, 3/6 vs Natural Rival)=162 Games
3) Thou Shall Not Have All-Star Game Decide Home-Field in World Series
No alternating hosting between the leagues either. If you have the best record at the end of the season, you EARN the right to have home-field through the World Series. If we're gonna put some much emphasis on the regular season, then stop deciding home-field for a Game 7 in an glorified exhibition game.
3) Thou Shall Have A Salary Cap....
Could you imagine if the Royals or Marlins had a payroll like the Yankees??? Yes, it's a crazy idea, but if other leagues can have a salary cap, what makes baseball above it? It's simple, start it off with each team having a $120 million dollar cap and then you increase it (or decrease it) each season based on a series of factors. You go over the cap, you get docked 10 percent of your teams total cap amount. No need for Steinbrenner to spend his money on all the overrated superstars.
4) Thou Shall Start Opening Day on the Same Day
Baseball is becoming a global game and I am all for that. But I don't think starting your season over in Japanis the best idea for anyone involved. You have everyone start the season on the first Monday in April and then go from there. Wanna have teams play overseas, not a problem. Have 2 AL Teams and 2 NL Teams travel there and play a DH. It expands the game, it showcases the top talent we have, and it can keep in line with Opening Day over here.
5) Thou Shall Make All-Star Voting A Joint Effort
Is it fair that the fans get to vote in their favorite players in the All-Star game?? Absolutely!!! Does it suck that the best players sometimes get the shaft?? Indeed!!! How do you fix that problem?? Simple, once fan voting closes, the managers of the respective leagues look at the fans votes. If they want to make any changes to the starters they can if they so choose. Even if say Ichiro was initially voted a starter, but was then booted by Josh Hamilton, Ichiro would still be an All-Star by fan vote. This way it allows the fans and managers to be on one accord as to who gets to start in the All-Star Game. Keep the 30th Man Vote, but make it the top 5 vote getters not selected by the manager or the fans.
6) Thou Shalt Make Drug Testing MANDATORY!!!
It's simple with me; if you have to use drugs to gain an edge on your peers, then you will be punished quickly and forcefully. The first time you're caught, you're suspended a year. Stupid enough to do it again and you're banned from the league. Now when I say drug testing, I'm not referring to smoking weed (that's in the same category as drinking), I'm referring to HGH, Roids, Blood Dooping, and everything else that they've busted players with.
7) Thou Shalt Have Baseball on Network TV
Remember the days when you watch NBC Game of the Week or CBS Saturday baseball?? Well, with me in charge those games are back. All of the networks will form The Baseball Network (Yes, I know it failed before but hear me out). The Baseball Network will be run by MLB and each network will continue their coverage on their various nights and stations but Friday nights starting in May will be for Friday Night Baseball on insert your favorite channel here. Don't get me wrong, I love the package they have right now, but in order to grow more and more fans, you must make the game accessible to EVERYONE and network television allows that to happen.
8) Thou Shall Have Instant Replay
Why is it that we let the judgement of the umpires effect the outcome of games?? We have the technology, we have the resources, we have to get them involved in the game. By having instant replay in the game, it will make it easier to get the call right (which is what us fans want after all). You would have a retired umpire in the press box (similar to the NFL) in charge of watching the game. If a call is disputed, then the crew chief (armed with a buzzer) will then go over to the replay area and check out the call that the manager and replay ump have disputed. It's simple, it takes less than a minute, and it gives the game back some of its integrity.
Next Friday, I will give Mr. Goodell the boot as I take over the NFL (Patriot fans might not want to read next weeks article). Till then, play ball and get it right!!!