Ten Ways To Make X Better: Baseball Comment Count

Brian August 2nd, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Previously: hockey, soccer, basketball, football.


10. No warmup pitches for relievers.

What did you just spend 15 minutes doing in the bullpen? Why are you wasting our time like this? I have things to look at that aren't you! Ever heard of a book, buddy? Yeah, probably not.

9. Every time a pitcher throws to first he has to put on another hat.

If the hats fall off before the end of the inning that counts as one ball per hat that falls off.

8. Balks are cool.

Balk away.

7. I don't have any other ideas.

Baseball! It's good if you want to drink beer outside with something else going on vaguely in your perception. The exact structure of the game is beside the point.

6. Wait, wait, now I do.

Remember Basewars? Yeah, do that.

I prefer robots but if we can get this on the road with people I'm down. You want me out? Put me out. I do not recognize the authority of this "ball" you have tagged me with.

5. This is a bad post.

You can think that. It's okay.


UM Fan from Sydney

August 2nd, 2016 at 11:47 AM ^

best idea ever - less games


MLB has 162 games and that is just absurd. If it were my decision, I'd trim thirty or more games from the schedule and would not give a shit about stats and records.


August 2nd, 2016 at 2:07 PM ^

Players would get less money.  Owners will ask why they are paying the same amount of money for less work.

If the schedule is shorter, does that mean more off days and less of a need for five-man pitching staffs?

I personally like the idea of playing a 4-game series each weekend (Thursday-Monday) with 2-3 off days in the middle.  To make the players union more interested, make one of those days a double-header day so that 5-man pitching rotations are still a thing.

There are 27 weekends most seasons.  So it would be about a 134-game season.  That's 14 less home games for the owners, but they should save money by paying for less than 162 games of service.  

And all baseball players are like Hugh Freeze and want to spend time with their family.

Hail Harbo

August 2nd, 2016 at 1:43 PM ^

The season used to be an arbitrary 154 games, then it became an arbitrary 162 games.  I say cull it back to an equally arbitrary 132 games for a couple of good reasons.  

1.  Dog days of August become relevant as the teams race to the pennant.

2. Perhaps most important, post season play takes place while football is still ramping up.  By the time the end of October rolls around fans of the two sports are becoming quite interested in how their favorite footballs team(s) are doing, thus splitting their attention.


August 2nd, 2016 at 11:52 AM ^

It'd be impossible to come up with ten real ideas to improve upon a game that is so perfectly constructed that it's lasted in a form almost identical to what you see today since the early 1800's. 

It's the only professional sport that's truly stood the test of time in anything resembling its original form. Babe Ruth would still be a star in today's game. So would Ty Cobb and Ted Williams. Players from those eras in other sports simply couldn't hold up in their professional leagues today.


August 2nd, 2016 at 12:25 PM ^

This is a very good point, and I respect your comment. A minor quibble is that Ruth, Cobb, and other greats didn't play against black people, or many foreigners, and you could argue that the pitching advancements alone would confuse the hell out of the older players. But, in general, baseball from 1966 is way closer than the NFL, NBA, and NHL of the same era.

On the other hand, the world changed around it and Serious Baseball People have talked about making changes to adapt--Buster Olney has floated shortening games to 7 innings, among other non-traditional changes. 

Hail Harbo

August 2nd, 2016 at 1:51 PM ^

Is your assumption that Ruth, Cobb, et al couldn't possibly be savy enough to compete against blacks and foreigners and that pitching* is so much different today than it was 100 years ago.

*At one time scuffing up the ball and or applying foreign substances were a legal part of the game.  I wonder how well modern hitters would do against pitching from an earlier era.


August 2nd, 2016 at 3:38 PM ^

that Cobb, Ruth, et al. might not dominate as much in the current talent pool, given the occurrence of more and better athletes now than in the past. 

Your pitching point is noted, but in general pitchers today put more spin in different ways than in the first part of the 20th century (sliders, cut fastballs, etc. being the prime examples).

Hail Harbo

August 3rd, 2016 at 2:30 AM ^

60 feet six inches has been the standard since 1893.  So yes, they pitch farther from the plate, but they've been pitching farther from the plate for more than 120 years.

As for pitchers putting more and different spin on the ball, do you really think so?  Aside from the various knuckleball pitches, the screwball is arguably the most difficult pitch to both command and control, and it's been around since the turn of the last century.  The curveball has been described since the 1870s.  What is now known as the slurve was one of Cy Young's out pitches, his professional career started in 1890.  But I understand your point as what is now known as the slider wasn't described as such until the 1920s and the fastball that fades away from the hitter, the cut fastball, is a relatively recent innovation becoming recognized as such during the 1950s.


August 2nd, 2016 at 11:51 AM ^

Install American Gladiator style air cannons at strategic positions in the lower bleachers. Fans are allowed to gun down base stealers with foam rubber baseballs which count as outs. Also maybe put spike/alligator/lava pits in the outfield?


August 2nd, 2016 at 11:54 AM ^

When was the last time anyone here watched a full 9 innings of baseball? How does this sport still survive? I watch a TON of sports and I'm not joking, I watch more Women's college softball than I do baseball. It's a better watch, faster pace, more action. Baseball is the absolute worst sport to watch on earth.


August 2nd, 2016 at 3:22 PM ^

Plus in soccer, you have no commercials during the actual gaming contest.  There is a so much wasted time in baseball.  I haven't watched more than a couple of minutes of baseball before i get bored out of my mind.  The biggest issue for me is that I like sports that I actually enjoy playing.  I was forced to play for 2 years in 7th and 8th grade, and although I was pretty good, I just hated the fact that the game consists of so much standing around and literally nothing happening.  I would play a double header and still have more than enough energy for my AAU basketball game.  At the end of the day, I just find the game to be way to boring.

L'Carpetron Do…

August 2nd, 2016 at 3:06 PM ^

And the vocabulary of a nine year old.  I hate watching college and pro football games that have former pros as color commentators who never say ANYTHING that would lead me to believe they played the game at the highest level.  Football relies way too heavily on the former stars/heroes who actually suck at broadcasting games.  I don't think I've ever heard Troy Aikman say anything remotely interesting about what its like to actually be a pro quarterback.  On the other hand a dude like Spielman brings good field experience to the booth, but most of those former players are the pits.   


August 2nd, 2016 at 1:26 PM ^

I guess I'm not taking into account the amount of more seasoned (old) posters we have here who probably grew up with the game and enjoy a more slow pace lifestyle.

I'm under 30, and I literally don't know a single person that watches full games, or baseball all that regularly. I'm not saying it's not easy to do, (sitting on a couch watching television is definitely easy per say)I just have absolutely no want to do it.


August 2nd, 2016 at 2:02 PM ^

Full disclosure: I'm under 30 and watch the aforementioned multiple games a week.

I dont think its completely an age thing (tho thats part of it). I think its just an interest thing. And that's fine. But a lot of people, even "un-seasoned" people really do enjoy the game. 


August 2nd, 2016 at 2:49 PM ^

Here in SF, the Giants have sold out 258 games in a row, and almost every game since they opened AT&T in 2000.

Crowds are diverse and of all ages, and you can't tell me there's nothing else to do in San Francisco.

73 million people attend major league games each year, average attendance is 30k.  If you think that's all old people, you're just wrong.

As far as TV goes, baseball is great because you don't have to give it complete attention. I'd much rather have baseball on in the background than some stupid reality show, or soccer for that matter - more attention-grabbing moments in baseball than soccer IMO. My point is you don't have to melt into a sofa to watch a baseball game - multi-tasking exists.

BTW, your "slow-paced lifestyle" crack was awful.



August 2nd, 2016 at 3:32 PM ^

Soccer is constant end to end action.  If you are not a fan of soccer that is cool, but the fact that i can get and enjoy a full game of soccer in under 2 hours is great, plus no commercials.  Of course you can multi task when watching baseball, because every 5 minutes there is a commercial break, and for vast swaths of the game nothing happens and it takes 3-4 hours for a full game of baseball.  I just don't have the time to invest in a game I have little interest in in the first place.  I have an 8 year old so my time is limited, so when I get a few hours to watch a game, I want to be fully invested in said game.  Using a sporting event as an excuse for multi-tasking doesn't exactly support your opinion that baseball is this grand great sport.  


August 4th, 2016 at 7:55 AM ^

"Soccer is constant end to end action."

Have to disagree. The ball is constantly rolling, but most of the players are walking or jogging into position, most of the time. Only occaisional bursts of full speed action, probably no more than baseball if you think about it..

For that matter, anyone who likes soccer should prefer hockey (ice or even field hockey), as the action is much more intense for a greater percentage of the time- the shortened length of the rink ensures that.



August 2nd, 2016 at 3:46 PM ^

It wasn't really meant as a crack, just that older people usually don't crave the same pace and constant stimulation of younger generations. Baseball lends itself to that. Obviously I'm generalizing and there are exceptions to every rule.

Your argument that baseball is great because it's so slow paced that you can do other things and don't have to completely focus.....I mean, that kind of proves my original point. Along with making the sport sound just awful. At a sporting event I want to be engaged and locked into the action. Not vaguely paying attention as I do other things while it happens a baseball game is going on.

L'Carpetron Do…

August 2nd, 2016 at 4:03 PM ^

Interesting you say that - I 'm a little older than you but my tastes have changed.  I used to be a fiend for basketball in my youth but got bored with it and liked the hidden cerebral nature of baseball.  But let's face it - the NBA can and does produce a lot of boring-ass games.  And as much as football fans would hate to admit it, football does too (I live in DC and get Redskins games every week - let me tell you, they're great to nap through).  Those sports have end-to-end action but that doesn't yield an entertaining product every time.

By the way, playoff baseball is intense and suspenseful as hell, especially in the late innings when baserunning, substitutions and pitching changes are crucial.  In that sense - the suspense and buildup to the action is just as fun and compelling as the action itself.  See Jose Bautista's home run in last year's playoffs - the city of Toronto went bananas over that shit.   Plus, aside from hockey, baseball has the best brawls. 

I'm trying to sell you really hard on baseball because I love it so much!


August 2nd, 2016 at 4:27 PM ^

I hear you about basketball and football and really every sport now that I think about it.  I played basketball through my sophomore year in college, but I can't stomach an NBA game.  Just too much one on one iso crap.  NFl is just abysmal to watch.  I wouldn't say that there is wall to wall action in basketball and football because basketball still has way way too many breaks that are unecessary and the NFl game has just as many lulls and time wasting as the  MLB.  Unfortunately MLB and baseball in general is abysmal to watch too.  Besides Michigan football and basketball, the only other sport that I can get into is european soccer, mainly because it is 2 hours and it's done and there are no commercials.  I value my time now, especially with more important things in my life than when I was young and could watch sports all day long.  I will set aside "don't bother me time" for Michigan footbal and Man City, everything else barely registers.  

L'Carpetron Do…

August 2nd, 2016 at 4:54 PM ^

Yeah man.  the 1-on-1 nature of the NBA is a turnoff, plus I get the impression that a lot of the dudes don't play hard every time out on the court ( I sound like that kid in Airplane talking to Kareem).   But I can't stand all the foul shots at the end of a game and officiating in the NBA, especially during the playoffs, is awful. Plus I'm convinced that David Stern fixed at least one series for the Lakers and probably several more. 

I resent the NFL's ambition and desire to take over the goddamn world.  Plus, all the owners are greedy creeps and Roger Goddell is essentially a pathetic two-bit politician.  It kills when some shitty regular season game on like a Thursday night gets better ratings than the MLB playoffs or World Series.  The product isn't that great and the game isn't that important but they have people obsessed. 

Premier League is the bomb because you can turn it on on a Saturday morning and watch a few games while you're eating breakfast and doing stuff before Michigan comes on!

Baseball is not the sport for people in a time crunch. But if you want to chill out on a summer afternoon and have a beer and listen to the radio on your porch or in your backyard, there's nothing better than baseball.  And I love it when one of my teams is on the west coast and I can stay up and watch a 10PM start and drink some beers.  

I'm trying to sell anyone who will listen on the merits of baseball, man - I love it!


August 2nd, 2016 at 5:13 PM ^

Good points all the way around.  I also agree that the NBA has fixed series and probably still does.  This years finals and Western con finals looks rigged as hell to me, but hey, I can't prove it.  Even though I am not a fan of baseball in general, I still can go to a game and have a great time.  Just very tough to sit at home and get through a game.