I live in South Florida, and right now I am not in baseball mode. My attention has shifted to other teams in the area.
However, something happened recently that brought my attention back to Major League Baseball:
The bench-clearing brawl between the Marlins and the Nationals.
Down here in South Florida, baseball is normally filler until football season starts, but the Marlins in recent years have managed to keep things interesting by contending for the playoffs almost every season. This year, however, has been a different story.
With a lackluster bullpen, a superstar that does not seem to show much interest, injuries, and a front office that continually lies to its fanbase, it's been a rough year to be a Marlins fan.
Most fans, if not all, have resigned themselves to the fact that the postseason is a mere pipe dream, even though mathematically the Marlins do stand a chance. Interest in the team is down, and fan morale is even lower after recent reports indicated that the front office has been a little less than truthful.
However, last Wednesday proved that with a few punches and some breaking of unwritten rules, baseball can come off that back burner, at least for a little while.
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, ESPN, and local and national news were all abuzz about the Marlins and Nationals! These two teams have no business leading headlines, yet there they were front and center for all the world to see.
All people wanted to talk about the next few days was if they saw "the fight" and if they saw Gaby Sanchez deck Nyjer Morgan. Jokes were made that Sanchez should play linebacker for the Dolphins. Morgan became public enemy No. 1 down here for a few days, and EVERYONE was talking about Major League Baseball.
Major League Baseball is no longer the national pastime, so it's time drastic changes are made before it becomes completely irrelevant.
So where do you start? I say where the Marlins and Nationals left off.
Max Kellerman once said that the No. 1 sport in the world is boxing, because if you put one guy shooting hoops in one corner, another guy throwing footballs in another, and two guys fighting in the third, the biggest crowd will form near the guys fighting—not to mention the rapid rise in popularity by the UFC.
Why can't this work for baseball? Stop warning benches when guys throw at each other, and stop suspending guys when they rush the mound; let them duke it out, and let the players police themselves when it comes to these unwritten rules of baseball. If the Marlins and Nationals can captivate the sports world for a few days, why can't the rest of the league do the same thing?
(Follow me on Twitter.com/DavidAlen)