Major League Baseball: Five Things I Miss in Baseball

Brent TurnerCorrespondent IIIJune 13, 2011

Major League Baseball: Five Things I Miss in Baseball

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    ATLANTA - JULY 6: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves is congratulated by Brian McCann #16 after hitting a 3rd inning home run against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on July 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Baseball is a sport steeped in tradition.  There is no other game that provides as much of a history as the grand ole game. 

    Over the years, the game of baseball has rarely changed from its original form.  While it seems like football and basketball tweak the rules each year, baseball has maintained the basic ideas of the sport.  However, as the years have passed, certain aspects of the game have become extinct, and it is time that we take a look at these and remember how neat it was to have them involved in the game. 

    Feel free to add your opinions on what you miss from baseball at the end of the slideshow.

5. Bullpen Cars

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    I am not sure if anyone can justify why these were even created, but remember the joy that you had when you saw your favorite middle reliever being transported to the mound?  No one knows exactly why these cars went the way of the dinosaur, but it would be neat on throwback weekend to have them make one more appearance at your local ballpark. 

    If gas prices come back down to a reasonable level, I wonder if these will make a comeback?

4. "No Pepper" Signs Behind Home Plate

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    Before I understood what "pepper" was, I thought it was a nice gesture by the stadium and team to inform fans at home that they were out of pepper.  I knew that if I was going to go the ballpark and wanted pepper, that it was BYOP or I was out of luck. 

    These signs seemed to be at every ballpark each time a game was on TV.  With the advanced technology of lawn maintenance and twenty designs being created on the field, turf managers do not need extra players trampling around their sod. 

    The signs, either painted on the wall or made in the same place as license plates, made for constant reminders for the players. 

3. Overweight Sluggers

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    Cecil, unlike son Prince, fit the mold of a slugger.
    Cecil, unlike son Prince, fit the mold of a slugger.

    There is no off-season in professional sports.  Traditionally, spring training was used so that your body could get in shape for the grind of the upcoming season.  However, if you were the team's slugger, your body never really changed once spring training started.  Long gone are the days that the cleanup hitter was pushing 275 pounds and could double as the company's softball star on the weekend. 

    Jim Thome may be the last of the breed of sluggers in that he kept his body in shape for the season, but he did not care if he looked in shape or if every muscle was defined.  He strode to the plate, took his hacks and called it a day.  Prince Fielder has the look of a slugger, but from all accounts, he is a health junkie who is very careful about what he puts in his body. 

    At one point, the DH in the American League offered aging sluggers the chance to prolong their career, but as with all sports, being fit and trim won out. 

2. Flip-Down Sunglasses

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    It seems as though fashion is as important to some players as wins and losses, so as Oakley, Nike, and other companies have developed sport-specific glasses, the art of wearing flip down sunglasses has gradually become unnecessary. 

    Who among us didn't think that it was cool to have sunglasses that you could flip down when needed to fight the sun in your own backyard?  These probably never received more attention than when they were a necessity on a summer afternoon at Wrigley or the bright sun at Yankee Stadium on a mid-July day. 

    There are flip glasses now, but more are used for fashion than to help fight the sun. But, at one point, the future of flip sunglasses looked as bright as the sun they were fighting.

1. Old-Fashioned Managers

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    Bobby Cox, one of the last of the school managers.
    Bobby Cox, one of the last of the school managers.

    This one that is the easiest selection.  When Bobby Cox and Lou Piniella both retired, it was almost as if there was a changing of the guard among managers around the game.  A case could be made that Tony LaRussa and Charlie Manuel are still the old-guard style of managers, but there was a good chance that if you attended one of Cox or Piniella's games, one of them would be getting ejected.  The tirades that Piniella would perform were epic and brought attention to an otherwise boring game that day. 

    Baseball, unlike other sports, allows their managers to get in the face of an umpire, and the following day, all is forgiven.  Umpires, along the same lines as the NHL referees, deal with fighting and allow the argument to go as long as needed, until the manager feels at peace with what has been said. 

    There was a reason so many players wanted to play for Bobby Cox, and that is because he stood up for them even if he knew he was wrong.  While so many managers tweet about their problems (Ozzie Guillen being the main culprit), the old school manager took his frustration from the dugout onto the field.