Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been on the job for just over two years and in that time he has said he will “consider” just about every proposed rule change suggested, now matter how stupid. Pitch clocks? We’ll consider it! Higher strike zone? Lemme think about it! A moat filled with alligators to replace the warning track? Why not?
Well enough of his silly ideas. What are yours? Let’s make you Commissioner for a day. What rule changes would you implement? Apparently you don’t even need union approval! There are a few areas you could address.
Pace of Play
Every morning, Rob Manfred wakes up and looks at the tattoo on his hand to remind him.
Baseball seems to think that
falling soaring attendance, poor terrific local television ratings and falling record revenues mean they need to have laser-like focus on speeding up the pace of the game to win fans over. So how to pick up the pace? Pitch clocks? Bigger strike zones? Ghost runners every inning? America doesn’t have the attention span for three strikes anymore! Drop it to two! Give use your best idea, but use short sentences in bullet-form, I don’t have time to read anything longer than that.
Attracting the Youths
Along those lines, what can baseball do to attract the youths of today?
See what I did there? Its called a GIF. Kids like the GIFs.
Millennials are ruining everything from napkins to fabric softener. But they have a lot of disposable income, you know, from blogging and living with their parents, so we have to find a way to cater to them somehow.
What can baseball do to better market itself to young people? Online streaming is starting to become a thing now, although [WE’RE SORRY, THE REST OF THIS SENTENCE IS NOT AVAILABLE IN YOUR MARKET WITHOUT CABLE AUTHENTICATION]. Baseball could do a better job marketing its young stars now that Derek Jeter and David Ortiz are long gone, guys like, uh, Kevin Fightmaster, Brock Knuckleball, and uh, that Angels guy....Mark....Salamander? Look it up on Google.
Economics of the Game
It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed impossible that lower revenue markets in Kansas City and Cleveland could win pennants. Baseball seems to be in a much more competitive place than it was in the early 2000s when the richer clubs dominated. More revenue sharing has helped, as has a luxury tax that has kept the Yankees from going hog-wild. Still, the Dodgers have had no issue going over the threshold at times, and clubs like the Red Sox and Yankees still wildly outspend the Royals, even with David Glass paying for franchise-record payrolls.
Baseball could revise the free agent system, change the antiquated arbitration system in favor of something like restricted free agency, or even impose a salary cap pegged to the average salary of America’s teachers. You could also change things at the front end, changing or eliminating the draft in favor of bonus pools, or making international players subject to the draft.
Radical realignment? Expansion? Eliminate the designated hitter? Expand roster sizes? Allow tackling, passing the ball, and calling it “football”? Whatcha got? Give me your best rule change.