Friday, July 07, 2006

Commissioner For A Day

Pretty good article by Tom Verducci about what he would do if he were commissioner. I don't agree with all of it (like the Wild Card playoff treatment and the interleague schedule), but it does highlight how screwed up MLB kinda is, in an overly-traditionalist kind of way. Anyway, here are five things I'd change:

1. Fix interleague play.

2. Get rid of September call-ups. Really, how is this still allowed in a professional sports league? All of a sudden you're allowed to have 15 extra players for the most important month of the season? NBA rosters are too small and NFL too big to make a comparison, but could you imagine if NHL teams were allowed to expand rosters after the trade deadline so they could carry three goalies, five forward lines and four defensive pairings? Would anyone be okay with this?

3. The team with the better record gets home-field in the World Series. It's that simple. If there's a tie, the team with the better interleague record gets it.

4. At least one day game every day (and as an extension, earlier starts for playoff games).

5. Get rid of the all-star game. This may sound like a travesty, but seriously... who cares? I know they just want to make it into a cash cow, but there's no need to play the game. Stars don't want to play, or even hit in the home run derby, and three days (and sometimes four) without actually being able to watch your team play is torture. Just name an all-star team at the end of the year and be done with it.

I really could have made a list of 20 or so things, which is sad, and I haven't even touched steroids or a salary cap. Anyone have anything to add?


Warren said...

One question I have is why don't players want to play in the All Star Game anymore? Interleague play hasn't helped, but I don't think it's that recent of a problem. It might be the fact that every game is televised and available to anyone around the country (expect for blackouts - see below). In the "good old days", players from one league didn't get a chance to see players from the other league - now, even if you did away with interleague play, you could still watch the other league, even if you didn't play against them.

I'm sure some people would say that players are spoiled and rich nowadays, but they've been spoiled and rich for a long time now.

Warren said...

Here's five more (and I'm assuming that I'm both the commisioner and the head of the players union):

1. Get rid of TV blackouts - even if they made sense in theory (which they don't), the blackout maps are completely ridiculous. Teams used to be convinced that if they broadcast games on the radio, that no one would show up to the park. They were wrong.

2. Do a few things to reduce offense a bit - when offense is lower, there are more exciting things going on (steals, bunts, hit and runs). So enforce a minimum bat handle diameter and back players off the plate.

3. Change revenue sharing so that teams pay based on market size and not payroll. Teams in places like Detroit and Philadelphia should never receive revenue sharing simply because they don't feel like spending money. Despite what some people said, Cleveland was never a big market team just because they had a decent payroll.

4. Get rid of free agent compensation picks - it pretty much only benefits the high payroll teams, which is the exact opposite of its intention.

5. Tell umpires to stop trying to read players' minds when dealing with hit batsmen. Figure out some rules that don't leave much room for judgement, like you get an automatic ejection for hitting someone in the head or for hitting more than one batter in a game.

Sully said...

I like those hit batsmen rules - that makes way too much sense. And I can't believe I didn't think of the blackout thing. The worst thing about having is getting stuck with one Saturday afternoon game (that FOX decides to show me) while seven others are going on at the same time.

Along with the compensatory draft picks, I'd come up with a draft pick salary cap/slotting system, so you'd never see a player drop because of "signability issues"/Scott Boras.