By: William Earl Robinson Jr.
Baseball is in the midst of a great identity crisis. It wants to come across as this modern game that will enthrall and excite the masses. It wants to reach out to a new generation of Americans and to people across the world. However, in order to do that they need to change some of the age old tenements of the game that some of the traditionalists will be hard pressed to let go of.
Chase Utley’s slide into second base is a prime example of this. His play on the surface is a very common play in baseball. Hundreds of times during a regular season you will see examples of this type of slide in order to break up a double play, and if Ruben Tejada hadn’t broken his leg there wouldn’t be this hullabaloo about it now. However, just like the collision at home plate that injured Buster Posey, this collision will ultimately change how the game is officiated. However, baseball needs to look at this and realize that the game is moving away from hard-nosed players and more towards safety. If they decide to take that play out of baseball let me encourage a few more. How about we suspend any player who leaves the bench during a brawl in much the same way that the NBA does? Or how about we stop these brawls to begin with by heavily suspending any pitcher who retaliates against a hits batsman or any pitcher who intentionally hits a batter to begin with? I would be heavily in favor of those rule changes.
Another thing that’s time has come is the removal of the home plate umpire on balls and strikes calls. We have the technology to eradicate bad pitch calls and yet we hold on to this old system because it’s a tradition. Well that’s crap. Seriously anyone watching baseball these days knows that this is the worst thing about the game. In game one of the Cardinals vs. Cubs series the home plate umpire called a difference of 6% more strikes for the Cardinals than the Cubs. That doesn’t sound like a lot but in the middle of a playoff series it can make all the difference. It’s a sad state of affairs that the umpires have different strike zones for different pitchers in the same game. This must end.
Baseball needs to embrace its heritage but also embrace the future. The best way to do this is to reinstate Pete Rose. Pete as you may or may not know was banished from the game for gambling on his Cincinnati Reds to win. He never has been found to have thrown games like the black sox and was only found to be gambling that his team would win. Pete has admitted his sins and has paid his penance, and he should be let back into baseball because if nothing else it would end the hypocrisy. Every time I watch these playoff games I see that they are being sponsored by these fantasy baseball or football websites that are gambling websites. Players are currently allowed to play in these fantasy sports. Yet they aren’t banished from baseball. I guess as long as MLB gets its cut then everything is just fine.
In conclusion something smells rotten in Denmark people and it’s the current state of the greatest game to ever be played. It’s time for MLB to do something drastic and advance into the 21st century, or else it will fall into the past and be remembered as such.