Growing up watching the St. Louis Cardinals with my dad, I loved the way this particular game designed its own pace. There was no clock and zero need to rush. It was beautiful and unique. Why change it now?
It seems the short-attention-span crowd has crawled up inside MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's head and started dancing around, nudging certain unwise ideas loose — and for some unknown reason, it's having an effect.
Today, Bleacher Report published an article about speeding up the game of baseball by starting runners at second base in extra innings. The report said Major League Baseball plans to try this idea out in spring training and the All-Star All Star Game, but something tells me this could lead itself into regular season games. Why? They don't try stuff out for no reason, folks. This wasn't the first time either.
This ridiculous motive never entered the cerebellum of former Commissioner Bud Selig, who fans had plenty of reason to hate and despise anyway. All Manfred has done is try to take the glorious game of baseball and speed it up since he stepped foot in the office of the league.
First, there was a timer set on pitchers between pitches. Then, mound visits seem to get even shorter. Now, the game wants to put a runner at second base in the top of the tenth inning. Again, why?
Joe Torre states in the article that the move would be to preserve player health and make games end quicker, so manager don't have to go through their entire bullpen in games and use a utility infielder to finish contests.
Well, poor sad MLB manager working at the top level of pro competition in the world and having to decipher how to assemble his bullpen weapons in a close game. Did Manfred and Torre quietly become Mike Matheny sympathizers? They watched a fair share of Cards games and thought Greg Garcia's fastball wouldn't have to be discovered.
Again, leave the game alone. Baseball doesn't need to sped up. What's next? The players running around on hot coals? Bonfires in the outfield? Smoke grenades at home plate for hitters taking too much time in the box?
You know what, let's cut the outs in a game down to 24. Better yet, let's do 21. Softball style. Add an outfielder and let the hitters use titanium bats and insert a mercy rule. By the way, if a hitter smashes a ball over 450 feet, he's an automatic out instead of a run. Pitchers have a matter of seconds to throw before being hit with a taser.
The game when I was a kid was perfect. It is still perfect today. If the health of the players in a game like baseball is too much, go deliver mail for a living. They don't call it "The Show" for nothing. Keep the speed-up qualities in the exhibition games. Don't let it get to the games that count. There's no need.
It's all part of a culture that demands everything to be faster. People want their food quicker with pre-ordering and special deliveries. They want their news delivered to their phone instead of a paper machine. They want to buy everything online. Speed, speed, speed! Leave it there and not in my game.
For the people who don't like a four hour game, watch more basketball. Baseball doesn't have a clock. It doesn't need to be sped up. It doesn't need changes or alterations. The speed and pace of baseball is what makes it great.
Shut it down, Rob Manfred.