Posts Tagged ‘Baseball at the Crossroads: To Be or Not To Be’

Baseball at the Crossroads: To Be or Not To Be

February 2, 2018

MLB to experiment with starting runner on 2nd in extra innings

Proposal to speed up play would be used in spring training, All-Star Game

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has long vowed to make changes for this season with or without an agreement with the Players’ Union. (Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)


Please read the referenced above article and give it some thought – some deep thought.

1) Is the proposed free second base runner rule to start extra innings (10th or 11th) in spring training and this year’s All Star Game really a simple way to shorten games of no great consequence and something that will only be used as a protection step against pointless player injuries? Or is it a Trojan horse attempt by the Commissioner to get the practice into the “no-big-deal” phase on its way to becoming serious damage to  baseball’s “earned opportunity” idea about how games should be won?

2) Do we really want to try to convert baseball into a game that is controlled by the clock? And if we were to “succeed” in knocking off a half hour average for each MLB game, would it still be baseball – and I mean the kind of baseball that most of us grew up playing and watching?

3) Is the problem that baseball games are too long? Or is it the fact that 21st century high-tech cultural attention spans are too short to even appreciate the chess-game mental aspects of the game? Or maybe its just a combination of both, plus the fact that games start late, mainly for the sake of maximizing the television commercial audience that is watching. If MLB played more day games during the week – or if they began more weeknight games at 6:00 PM, than 7:15 PM, people who want to get home earlier could find more games that do make that possible. – Newer fans would still need to learn and have to dig the idea that baseball is not a TV network sitcom. It lives the life that most of us wish for – one that is not controlled by the clock. – And in return for that kind of understanding, baseball will always rare up at its own special moment – and in its own way – and give us contests like Games 2 and 5 of the 2017 World Series as our reward for patience and appreciation of the game’s timeless beauty.

4) Look! At my age, I really do get it that the forces causing change are far larger then any of us alone. In the end, right or wrong, all of us little people can do is either make the decision to speak up – or shut up.

So far, I still choose to speak up for the game of baseball I love. Let’s speak up and do what we can to preserve what makes baseball great. If we do not, then we are giving up the only voice we have against the larger tides of commerce, politics, power structure, and personal ego that will step in someday and swoop up baseball as just another personal trading chip in the larger game of empire-building.

Whoops. Maybe it’s already happened. What do you think, Commissioner Manfred?



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle