Rule Changes MLB Should Consider

Torey ZiskaCorrespondent IIMay 14, 2009

DENVER - MAY 10:  Homeplate umpire Derryl Cousins oversees the action as the Florida Marlins were defeated by the Colorado Rockies 3-2 during MLB action at Coors Field on May 10, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball is my favorite professional sport. There is really nothing better than being able to sit back and relax and maybe enjoy a hot dog or some popcorn while watching a game on a beautiful summer day (though it in Arizona, you better hope the roof is closed). Baseball has always been a passion of mine from a very young age.

Since the beginning of interleague play, all the way up to the introduction of instant replay in MLB, I have been thinking of some other rules baseball should perhaps consider implementing.

There is no doubt every fan could come up with a few rules they would like to see changed, whether to make the game better, or to make the game more entertaining. Here are a few things I wouldn’t mind seeing changed in Major League Baseball.

First, I will start off with something that isn’t exactly a rule of baseball, per say, but more to do with scoring decisions. Something that has bothered me for years is the fact that a pitcher can pitch absolutely brilliantly, his team can get the win, but some relief pitcher that faced one batter ends up getting the win.

For example: Let’s say Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches seven innings, and leaves the game with a 2-1 lead. Now let’s say that an Arizona relief pitcher comes in for the eighth inning and gives up a run, and the score is now 2-2.

By today’s rule, Webb is no longer eligible for a win, even if the Diamondbacks come back and take the lead and close out the game. Does a relief pitcher really deserve to get a win for only pitching to a few hitters?

Let’s look at this from another angle. Let’s say Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum pitches eight innings and gives up just one run, but his team has been shutout. So the two teams head to the ninth inning and the Giants opponents score two runs off of a reliever. In the bottom of the ninth, the Giants score a couple of runs, but come up just short, losing the game 3-2.

Does Lincecum really deserve a loss? He only gave up one run, and his team scored two runs. Current MLB rules would suggest Lincecum indeed does get a loss.

I realize crediting pitchers with wins and losses in this way is probably the only true way to do it, but personally I think the official scorer of every game should be able to use his or her discretion to decide if a pitcher deserves a win or a loss.

My next proposed rule change would be to expand interleague play and play a schedule similar to that of the NBA, with a mix of the current NFL schedule. I would have every team play games against EVERY team in the opposite league, not just a select few teams.

I haven’t figured out all the details, but I think a schedule in which a team plays every team from the opposite league for one series per year would work. For example, the Texas Rangers would play every National League team in one series.

Any NL team they faced at home one season, they would face on the road the next season, and continue alternating in this fashion. If this is not feasible, then I say abolish interleague altogether and have the only meetings of AL vs. NL be the World Series and All-Star games.

My next rule change has been a hot topic for many years. Get rid of the Designated Hitter! I am sick and tired of hearing that pitchers can’t hit or can’t run the bases. That’s truly pathetic.

These guys are major league athletes. They grew up playing baseball. They have done plenty of hitting and plenty of running in their careers. Guys like CC Sabathia, Carlos Zambrano, Micah Owings, Yovani Gallardo, and Dontrelle Willis just to name a few, are guys that are serious threats with the lumber.

Who knows how many American League pitchers there are out there that could do the same? Nobody knows because those pitchers get just a few at-bats every year.

Most fans understand the difference between an earned run and an unearned run. In its simplest terms, unearned runs are runs that are typically scored that shouldn’t have scored. For example, runners that score due to errors. This is a rule that helps a pitchers ERA (earned run average).

However, I propose that if the pitcher is the one making an error, that any runs that score due to his error, should still count as an earned run. The pitcher can’t control if his fielders make errors, but he sure can control whether or not he makes any.

My last two rules are rules that will most likely never even be talked about, let alone seriously considered. My first one is that I believe a player should be able to go into the stands to make a catch.

Current rules say if a player catches a ball on the playing field and falls completely into the stands, runners are allowed to move up one base. I don’t like that rule. It almost hurts the defense.

If a player makes a fantastic catch like that, why should his team be penalized by having the other team’s runner’s move up one base? Personally, I think they should make a rule that allows players into the stands to make a catch.

Heck, if a player wants to hop over the fence (in foul territory only) and run up a few rows, and make a catch, he should be allowed to do it! Granted, I understand player’s safety is priority and there are some very stupid fans out there, but nonetheless, if a player is willing to do it, he should be able to do so.

My final rule change would be this: If there are two outs in an inning, and there is a runner on first base and the batter hits a groundball, the defensive team typically will only try for one out, to end the inning.

I say, why not let them try and turn the double play? If they are successful, they would be allowed to start the following inning with one out. Heck, if they are able to turn a triple play with two outs, why not let them start the following inning with two outs?

Well there you have it, some rules I would consider changing in Major League Baseball.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Can we please stop making the All-Star game determine home field advantage in the World Series? Surely there is another solution to make sure the All-Star game doesn’t end in a tie.


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