PART 1 was written on June 21, 2015
Let me quickly tell you why 6 thru 10 came into my thought. 1 through 5 were obvious to me, and needed to be considered in order to “perfect” the Game. But as I may have mentioned before, not a day goes by when I don’t see some new dimension to an aspect of the Game that can be viewed in a “new light”. When I first started writing about batting and throwing, I thought I covered everything of substance. Then I would see it from another angle, and I would write from that standpoint, etc. etc. 6 thru 10 came about that way as well.
6. 2nd & 3rd Basemen tap the “front” side of base to determine a “tag-out” (for fielder protection).
7. Establishment of a D. R. (Designated Runner).
8. Batters should get 2 strikes and 4 balls.
9. No “intentional walk”. If at least 1 strike is not thrown to a batter, after four pitches he goes to 2nd. Base.
10. A “D. R.” (Designated Runner) can also Pinch-Hit in the same game.
6. When I saw Andrelton Simmons slide so recklessly into 3rd. Base one game, and then at Home in another, I realized that he just doesn’t know how to slide safely (for himself and the fielder). Of course he suffered a “double-consequence” by not only hurting himself, but incurring the wrath of the other team’s pitcher “nailing” him with a fastball after both mishaps. When he slid into 3rd., the baseman was waiting with the ball (for a sure out). He slid so late, he drove his foot through the glove and hand of the defensive player so ferociously (unintentionally- I think) that he could have seriously damaged not only the other player but himself as well. I’ve seen similar plays at 2nd Base (and even at home), and I feel that, if nothing else, the fielder should be protected in the case of an “automatic” out. Similar “unwritten” rules apply on double – plays at Second-Base, and at First base, to try to protect the fielder. The “Tap-out” to which I’m referring would allow the fielder to get out of the way before the runner actually gets there. It’s an “automatic” out, so give the fielder the protection he deserves, especially from incompetent base-runners.
7. I listened one day to the MLB analysts discuss ways to enhance Offensive competency (allow for more “run-production”), and one of them casually mentioned the possibility of a “designated-runner” ( for a National League Pitcher, or even for any slow runner, late in the game). I thought that it was not a “bad idea”. But I knew that there would eventually be a D.H. in the N.L. But it could still be used for an “elder-statesman” D.H. type player. Anything to pick up the pace!
8. I absolutely hate to see a batter (especially a good hitter like Trout) take a first pitch fast-ball right down the middle, then eventually strike out on two “splitters” in the dirt. IF the batter only got 2 strikes, he’d be more apt to swing at the first strike. (talk about speeding up the game!) Any way, it wouldn’t hurt the batter, since 99.9999 % of the time he will foul off at least one pitch. 4 balls would stay the same, since no one likes to see a base-on-balls anyway.
9. I argued against the “Intentional walk” since Pitchers did it so many times to Barry Bonds. I would have been incensed if I paid $30 to $50 bucks to see Barry, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams bat, and all the pitchers would do is walk them intentionally. Bonds may have hit 100 Home Runs if the Pitchers were forced to pitch to him or he goes to 2nd base.
10. In the Elementary School league in whicht I have coached, the administrators didn’t like to see “fringe” players “riding the pine” for most to the game, so rules have been established for such players to have more active responsibilities (like alternate innings in the field while batting in a line-up of 1 thru 12). Once the D.R. is established in MLB, I don’t see anything outrageous about such a player being allowed to “pinch-hit” in a manner found appropriate to league standards. Am I too far ahead of my Time on this one? Maybe Not!
What does your “heartfelt”, but creative instinct tell you about these (6 thru 10)? I always appreciate an astute, professional or non professional observation. Thanks. John P