Editor’s Column: The real change baseball needs

Matthew McKay

This time of the year, we are about a month or so away from the first weekend of baseball, and the bad publicity around the sport is just as intense as the early 2000’s when the steroid era was exposed. Now cheating has made its way back into baseball with the Astros being caught up in a sign stealing scandal.

Not only was it bad for baseball that the Houston Astros got caught cheating, but the commissioner of baseball decided to go out and make bad statements that got blown up in the media, and propose a wild new playoff format for the upcoming years.

Now here is where I get angry. Why are we changing baseball? Why? It has been arguably the most popular game in America from the early 1900’s until the mid-90’s. Now, however, they want to change the game, but I really don’t think they are making the right changes.

Robot umpires are a change that’s coming, and this year in the MLB we will see a three batter rule every time a relief pitcher comes out of the bullpen. For those that don’t know, in years past you could change pitchers after every batter, but now the pitcher you bring in must face three different batters before they can be changed.

The rule changes have not stopped for the last several years in the game of baseball, and it is all centered around trying to entertain people that live in an immediate gratification society. People think that baseball is boring, and that its just not fun to watch.

So in order to make it more interesting baseball officials think that they need to make the game go faster.

According to baseball reference the average MLB game was 3:10 minutes. So a long time.

However,  I don’t think shortening the game is the key to gaining popularity.

I think the simple fix is increasing home runs; it’s the most exciting play in baseball. I would imagine you would be hard pressed to find someone that prefers to watch a safety squeeze over a 500 foot bomb that explodes off the bat.

Last season there were 6,776 home runs in major league baseball, the most of all time. All I have to say to that is give me more. Give me more home run races.

Now one simple solution to that is bring back steroids in baseball, but that’s not the answer. The answer is however to bring the designated hitter to both the American league and National League.

There are a lot of good hitters that are currently out of a job because only half of the 32 teams have a position for them.

The designated hitter expands careers, increases home runs and will overall increase interest.

I would much rather see a designated hitter come up with runners on second and third early in the game instead of watching a pitcher go up there and wave at three pitches and go take a seat.

Overall I think increasing home runs will take the light off of the scandals and the bad publicity and give the MLB a season to remember. The old saying is “chicks dig the long ball” but in reality everyone digs the long ball, and when it continues to increase MLB will be happy as well.