The Real Problem with Extra Inning Games, Etc.

Baseball's Man For All Seasons Larry Dierker February 15, 2017

Baseball’s Man For All Seasons
Larry Dierker
February 15, 2017

The Proposed Insertion of a 2nd Base Runner in Extra Innings

(1) It stinks as an imposition of an arbitrary change into the organic flow of the game; (2) Any player who reaches 2nd base should only be there if he arrives as a direct result of play on the field; (3) Arbitrary rules placement of a runner at 2nd base at any time – for any purpose – tears at the integrity of the game; and (4) The extra inning bonus runner proposal is not really about getting the fans home early by hopefully shortening the time of the game; (5) Its a proposal which aims to keep the amusement center (baseball park) from being forced to stay open beyond the times that the club’s revenue streams are closed. – Extra innings into the night translate into that time zone in which park expenses are going on beyond the time that television commercials are reaching much, if any, an audience – and beyond the time that beer and other concession stand items are still for sale.

In the 21st Century, MLB May as Well Call Themselves the MLE

In the 21st Century, at any MLB park, the game has to compete for contact with the short attention spans of wired younger fans – who no longer come to the venue as their parents or grandparents once did – to supposedly relive some kind of 19th century pastoral scene 0f the game that maybe never was quite the way we’ve brewed it as a myth over time.

Good Luck to All 30 Clubs! Once you get past shooting tee shirts at them, providing them with swimming pools that are protected with high-speed baseball nets, and every other scoreboard variation on the old Three-Card Monte game, where else do you go? How about a monthly Lady Gaga concert in an area like the Crawford Boxes?

And tell it like it is. This isn’t the MLB. – This is the MLE. Baseball people are now involved in finally admitting that they are heavily invested – beyond baseball alone – in the Major League Entertainment industry.

What this suggests about the sanctity and integrity of baseball – from here to eternity – is now fairly in the air – and up for grabs – or a fall to earth like none it’s previously ever taken since the first games played by the Cartwright Rules on the Elysian Fields of Hoboken, New Jersey back in 1845.

To Larry Dierker

Since both of the thoughts expressed here found a lot of traction in the discussion you and I shared with each other yesterday, your comments as a column addendum, enlargement, or redirection of each note expressed here today would be appreciated.

It’s up to you. I will not insist you speak up now  – nor will I presume to speak for you. All I know is – your unique role in the transition of MLB from what it was in 1963 – to what it is now – combined with the powerful respect that so many of us have for your thoughts on the game – would sure make for a great book – someday.

An Addendum By Larry Dierker, Iconic Houston Astros Pitcher, Manager, Broadcaster, Historian, Writer, and Baseball Subject Book Author:

“I am chagrined by the direction baseball has chosen, starting in the 70’s with the DH and Marvin Miller. For more on that, read The Game.

“Like golf, baseball is (was) pastoral. Like golf, it is not played on a rectangle like an old fashioned war.

“Golf still maintains an aura of class and tradition. When baseball lunged for more offense in 1973, it left those notions behind. The new model was the NFL. Arbitration and free agency worked like a ratchet on salaries and the union was never statesmanlike enough to give up the stranglehold.

“As a result, we now have what I would call MLE&B, Major League Entertainment and Baseball. Thank Bud Selig for that. He figured out how they could bankroll it. Forget it if you can’t afford to take your kids to the game. You can watch it on TV while they play video ball with their thumbs. You can have some quality time with them later, maybe.

“Many of the changes that technology has brought to the game have been good for it. But most have been bad, in my opinion. There used to be a sense of fraternity in the game. Now it is totally impersonal. We (if I can still include myself in the family) should have followed golf instead of football. But no one on the owners or players side had enough class.”

~ Larry Dierker

____________________

eagle-0range
 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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5 Responses to “The Real Problem with Extra Inning Games, Etc.”

  1. Doug S. Says:

    Excellent description by Mr. Dierker – such a great baseball mind that I have got to enjoy as a Player, Manager, Announcer and Writer.

  2. Larry Dierker Says:

    I am chagrined by the direction baseball has chosen, starting in the 70’s with the DH and Marvin Miller. For more on that, read The Game.

    Like golf, baseball is (was) pastoral. Like golf, it is not played on a rectangle like an old fashioned war.

    Golf still maintains an aura of class and tradition. When baseball lunged for more offense in 1973, it left those notions behind. The new model was the NFL. Arbitration and free agency worked like a ratchet on salaries and the union was never statesmanlike enough to give up the stranglehold.

    As a result, we now have what I would call MLE&B, Major League Entertainment and Baseball. Thank Bud Selig for that. He figured out how they could bankroll it. Forget it if you can’t afford to take your kids to the game. You can watch it on TV while they play video ball with their thumbs. You can have some quality time with them later, maybe.

    Many of the changes that technology has brought to the game have been good for it. But most have been bad, in my opinion. There used to be a sense of fraternity in the game. Now it is totally impersonal. We (if I can still include myself in the family) should have followed golf instead of football. But no one on the owners or players side had enough class.

  3. Fred Soland Says:

    I will be at Cooperstown for the induction ceremonies this year. Believe me when I tell you I will be booing loudly when Bud Selig is announced. He is bar far my least favorite person to ever be involved with the sport of baseball. I am not sure whose ass he kissed to be inducted, but I would have rather seen George Steinbrenner inducted before Bud Selig.

  4. David Munger Says:

    Because of how the game is played today and three ring circus that surrounds it, I’ve all but lost my love for the game. Take me back to the day when I walked out of Colt Stadium and could see that big hole in the ground. I also miss listening to Larry’s Baseball Digest, it’s sad to think the fans of today have little or no regard for the History of the game.

  5. stanfromtacoma Says:

    Great observations by Larry.

    The bogus runner rule for extra innings is an awful suggestion. A guy could pitch a perfect game and lose. After nine perfect innings the tenth begins with the bogus runner on second. Ground ball to second advances him to third and a fly ball scores him. The following hitter makes an out so the pitcher could lose even though no one has reached base on an error, or hit. To top it off it would i guess be an earned run so the perfect pitcher’s ERA would be affected too.

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