There are a lot of people in the Bay Area that still may be in football mode due to some recent happenings and recent post-game interviews, so I’m going to strike the handegg iron while it’s hot. There’s word that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering taking away the extra point after touchdowns, instead making the seventh point automatic when a touchdown is scored. If teams want to run another play to get the eighth point (nowadays, what we call “going for two”) at the risk of going back down to the traditional six points, they have the option of doing so. This made me wonder: if there was something baseball could take away from its game for whatever reason you want to speculate on — saving time, it’s boring, etc. — what would it be? Here are some suggestions that may be a mix of serious and less serious:
Player clearly hits a long home run, may stay in the batter’s box, admire his shot, and touch home for the run
There have been instances at the highest and lowest leagues that a batter-runner has missed a base while rounding it after a majestic shot over the fence. However, I would imagine that the rate at which it happens at the MLB is extremely low, such that it’s, like the extra point in football, pretty much automatic he hits every bag while going the 360 feet. New rule: just make sure the batter-runner doesn’t touch home before any other players on base do so, otherwise he’s out, and we all groan or laugh.
Chance of this happening: Worse odds than Houston Astros winning the World Series
Run/Jog from the bullpen? Bring back the bullpen cart!
Seriously, what is the hold-up on this? This could not be an easier thing for baseball to take advantage of: get a solar-powered or 100%-electric cart from a company that wants to sponsor/have its advertisement on the bullpen cart and be mentioned during a pitching change. Just have the cart drive on the grass as it goes towards home after it picks up the pitcher and then make a turn after it passes the first/third-base bag, then drop them off at the mound. Does this take away from warming up the whole body as they go to the mound? Absolutely! Maybe it’s also more dramatic to have someone jog in rather than be driven in. Probably not getting my way on this one.
Chances of this happening: Higher once hoverboards — not cars or carts — can be used
“Closer” comes in at the beginning of an inning, with more than a two-run lead, the opposing team gets a free base-runner at first
Not everybody can have a 2% BB% like Edward Mujica did in 2013, or 2008 Mariano Rivera at 2.3% or even 2010 Wilton Lopez at 1.9%. Other pitchers that are designated closers just make our lives stressful as all heck. Let’s just get the blood pressure rising even more and let the opposing team have a free baserunner when the winning team has more than a two-run lead. The chances of a team holding on to a three-run lead in the ninth is pretty high when bases are empty that it’s almost a sure thing, like an extra point. Now, this would be perceived as discouraging a team from scoring runs, and just giving a team a present in a free baserunner is not something the league would ever agree to, but if you’re looking to keep it interesting, this is a way. A fair way? Definitely not.
Chances of this happening: Same as Barry Zito winning a batting title
Ban The Wave and Beach Balls
I have seen little kids try to start the wave, and I don’t have the heart to shut them down. If a wave-starter is 18 or older, they are escorted to a room where a video recording of Vin Scully, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, and other stars of baseball tell the person they are very disappointed in them and to please never try to start the wave again. Adults caught with beach balls or hitting beach balls must buy a Major League Baseball and case for someone younger than 18 in attendance.
Chances of this happening: It should be 100%, but the percentage is more along the lines of the number of World Series parades for the Dodgers my wife has been to: 0
Those are my ideas for what baseball could do different, and I’m sure there are a lot of other thoughts out there. Would love to hear yours in the comments!