MLB: Baseball's 5 Most Outdated Traditions
Baseball is a sport known for its traditions.
From the National Anthem before the game, to the seventh-inning stretch, to the announcing of players on Opening Day, baseball really knows how to put on an entertaining show.
However, there are some traditions that are now outdated based on the changing nature of the game today.
Here are five of those traditions.
5. Lefty/Righty Pitching Splits
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These days, lefty/righty splits are overrated.
Of course, there are lefty pitchers who are very effective against lefties and righty pitchers who are very effective against righties.
But these are Major League pitchers. They can definitely get out all types of batters, righty or lefty.
The problem is that the frequent pitching changes slow down the game. A guy comes in for one batter and is then replaced, and then the next guy only faces one batter.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a strategic matchup. But this is a tradition that is sometimes overplayed.
4. Division Alignment
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Can someone please explain to me why the NL Central has six teams and the AL West has only four teams?
Why not make them each have five to make it equal?
While this idea will hopefully be pondered this offseason, this is a tradition that is already outdated, though it’s not even that old.
Regardless of whether there will be a new playoff structure, a realignment involving the AL West and NL Central is a must. Maybe move the Houston Astros to the AL?
It could create an in-state rivalry with the Texas Rangers at the very least.
3. Midseason All-Star Game
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While hockey and basketball still have a mid-year All-Star Game, baseball’s Mid-Summer Classic is an outdated tradition.
The idea of it is nice, since it gives the players—especially those who did not make the All-Star team—a break from the rigorous schedule of baseball.
However, a half-season is not enough of a sample to determine if a player is worthy of an All-Star selection.
Still, moving the All-Star Game to the end of the season runs the risk of turning it into a game that isn’t very popular: the Pro Bowl.
2. Pitchers Hit in the NL
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“Batting ninth…the pitcher…”
This is a tradition that has to change.
As an NL fan, I’m all about the pitchers hitting. It promotes small ball: bunting, hitting behind runners and stealing bases.
However, once the AL incorporated the DH, it completely revolutionized the game.
Having that extra hitter makes it a much more offensive-minded game—even though it’s really only one more hitter.
It should be a uniform game, so one of the leagues would have to change how it operates.
1. Coaches Wear Uniforms
This one isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s still an outdated tradition.
Baseball is the only sport in which the coaches wear the same attire as the players.
Now, back in the days of player/managers, obviously this was understandable, since the manager could very well call on himself to pinch hit or even a start a game.
However, today's coaches are strictly coaches. I’m not saying they should wear suits like in basketball or hockey, but maybe more of a warm-up jersey and baseball pants would suffice.
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is certainly an outdated tradition.