Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Rant: Stop Trying to Change Baseball

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
@Philabaseball

Shot clocks don't belong in baseball. Sorry, that's just how it is.

Scanning through my RSS Feeds earlier this week I came across an article from Bleacher Report - Ten Revolutionary Ideas to Transform America's National Pastime. The basis of the article is ridiculous, but I'm mainly at fault for following the Bleacher Report feed in the first place - but that's a story for another time.   

One of the author's ideas for improving baseball involves introducing a timing system for pitchers where if they fail to throw a pitch within an allotted time a horn would sound and the batter would be awarded a walk while other runners on base all advance.

Oh, it gets better. 

Can you envision Charlie Manuel wearing a polo and khaki pants?How about managers ditch their uniforms and instead wear polo shirts and khaki pants because, think about it, "who wants to see aging men in tight baseball pants strutting around the ballpark?"  (<- actual quote in story)

Believe it or not, I'm not mad at the author, but his article is another in an increasingly long list of nonsensical opinions and columns on how to improve baseball. 

Frankly, I'm irritated. 

Baseball does not need radical changes, nor does it need to borrow from other sports (i.e., shot clock) to remain a proud American institution. The sport isn't going anywhere. 

Truthfully, do you believe a limit on time in between pitches or a casual dress code for managers would increase attendance, viewership, or interest in the sport?   

I feel the same about instant replay. Managers will have flags in the dugout next year to toss on to the field to challenge a call on the field. 

Why? 

Because the technology exists?

The logic that baseball needs to alter its rules to survive is asinine. Be it instant replay, pitch clocks, or casual wear for managers, none of these ploys will make an actual difference in how baseball is viewed within American culture - they're gimmicks. Baseball will never topple football in aggressiveness, nor will it top basketball in speed of play or flare.

More than ever, baseball has competition. Children, teenagers, and adults have infinite ways to spend their leisure time and discretionary income. Adding another playoff team or altering the schedule cannot change the fact that baseball is competing with hundreds of other entertainment outlets for profit and visibility.

This was more of a rant than anything, but I had to combat the thought of disregarding more than a century of tradition and altering baseball as we know it.

Keep the shot clock and khaki pants. I'll take tradition.

- Breaking news on the Philadelphia Phillies, the Philadelphia Baseball Review is the premier baseball news source in Philly providing analysis on the 2014 Phillies. 





0 comments: