Thursday, May 15, 2014

10 Things To Improve MLB

10 things that need to be changed, added, and/or developed to improve Major League Baseball:


1.   End MLB blackout restrictions!  PERIOD!

This needs to end!  I am in Iowa and I cannot watch 6 teams including my beloved Cubs on because of blackout restrictions.  Create a free market where anyone can view any team for a price.  You have no idea how much blackout restrictions currently hurt the sport of baseball.


2.   Bring the DH to the National League

I am tired of the talk it is not real baseball, that the AL should change, etc.  There are several pros and cons to bring the DH to the NL but the pros outweigh those cons.  I wrote about this in the past and you can see my remarks here.


3.   Expand the Major League Roster size to 26 players

This is something that I have been in support of for years.  Sure 25 players is all fine and dandy but expanding to 26 players will likely end or surely decrease the “do you go with 13 pitchers or 13 position players?” talk.  This will also expand the chances for younger and older players alike to make it or stay in The Show.  It also allows versatility and more options for the teams overall.


4.   Revamp the service time, super two status, and arbitration process

I am just not a fan of time dictating how much or little a player makes.  Not sure what to replace or how to revamp the process but it just needs to be done.


5.   Bring in the pitch clock

I am so tired of batters taking minutes in between pitches adjusting they batting gloves, checking their bat, wiping their cleats, etc.  But pitchers are at fault too!  They walk around, use the bag, move dirt around the mound etc.  To make the game more enjoyable please institute a 25 second pitch clock between pitches.  It is easy and does not really affect the sacred game of baseball.  It would make baseball more watchable to the average fan and overall I think it would increase more butts in the seats and eyes to the television.  To enforce the 25 second pitch clock is easy.  If the batter is the guilty party by going over the allotted time after the pitcher is ready to pitch then he gets an automatic strike placed on him.  If the pitcher is the guilty party going over that time then a called ball is awarded to the batter.  This is so logical, I am not sure why they have not done this by like… YESTERDAY!


6.   Limit the catcher, manager, pitching coach, other players meeting at the mound

Another way of speeding up the game.  I think each starting pitcher should get a limit of 3 meetings (a reliever should get 2) at the mound a game by either the catcher, manager, pitching coach, or other players.  Each meeting will last only 60 seconds and will utilize the same clock as the pitch clock for the meetings.  Also under this rule the 1ast meeting (3rd for SP and 2nd for RP) at the mound an “action” must be made whether it be a double switch, pitching change, etc…  Again this seems so logical to me.


7.   Change the playoff and division format… AGAIN

No more divisions in baseball and go back to the old format of a National League Division and American League Division.  But with one catch;  expand playoffs to 12 teams.  The top 6 teams out of the NL and the top 6 team in the AL will battle to be World Series Champions.  This playoff formula will be much like the NBA so with no further delaying here is my playoff system.


Both the NL and AL will have the same format playing in their own division until the World Series Game in which they will play each other. Each teams seed will correspond where they finished in their respected division. The better seed will always have home field advantage. First round games will go home/away/home for the better seeds. Second round games will go home/home/away/away/home for the better seeds. The Division Championship Series and the World Series  will go home/away/away/home/home/away/home in which home field advantage is still determined by league that wins the All-Star game.  See below for even more details-


First Round: Best of 3 games

6th seed vs. 3rd seed

5th seed vs. 4th seed

1st seed bye

2nd seed bye


Second Round: Best of 5 games

1st seed vs. the worse of the two seeds remaining

2nd seed vs. the better of the two seeds remaining


Division Championship Series: Best of 7 games

NL and AL Division Championship Game


World Series: Best of 7 games

NL Playoff Winner vs. AL Playoff Winner


Other notes:

-       Playoffs will start 3 days after the season concludes

-       There will be a maximum of 2 days between the starting of a series and the ending of a series.

-       The first two rounds there will be at least one baseball game on every day.

-       In the case of a tie a one game playoff will be played the day after the regular season concludes with the ballpark determined by coin toss. The winner of course advancing onto the playoffs.


8.   Do not change the MLB awards but change the description

The MVP should be saved for the most valuable position player not pitcher and the Cy Young award is for the best pitcher.  I do not believe a pitcher should be given the MVP because they only play in only about 20% of the 162 games played.  Giving a pitcher the MVP is just wrong and unfair to those players playing 100+ games a year.


9.   Change the Hall of Fame balloting

There should not be a limit on how many player you can vote for when it comes to the Hall of Fame.  I also believe they should increase the number of ballots for about 570 to an even 1000 and send them out to not only writers but to managers, coaches, players, announcers, bloggers, and fans to get a variety of opinions. I also think the managers, coaches, announcers and players should be a mix of former and current players.  Because of the increase in ballots sent I still believe that a player still needs to be on 75% of the ballots to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  I also think the wait time to get on the hall of fame should decrease from 5 years to 3 years.  A player can remain on the ballot for 10 years or until they get below the ballot threshold of 25%. When they reach either 10 years or below 25% of the ballot they will be then be removed from any HOF consideration.  This process also goes for inducting managers, announcers, and other baseball employees who are eligible for the HOF.  I would also abolish the Veterans Committee.


10. Move around and create new deadlines/important dates

·         The current team’s exclusive negotiating rights for a soon to be free agent player expires on October 31st

·         Free agency starts November 1st and ends the first Sunday in December at midnight. This will cause a free agency frenzy much like the NFL does where all the players pretty much sign within the first month. Consequences by not signing by the first Sunday in December as a free agent is having to wait for the 2nd free agent class signing.

·         2nd free agency signing starts May 1st and continues until next off-seasons free agency signing deadline. This signing period is for all players who did not sign by the first free agency signing date.

·         GM meeting will remain the same.

·         Move the All-Star Game to the last Tuesday in June and do the Homerun Derby the night before. This should be more in the middle of the season.

·         Move big trade deadline from the end of July to July 1st. By moving the All-Star game up you can then move up the trade deadline (don’t want trade an All-Star player before the All-Star game, that could be a big issue). July 1st is about the half-way point in the season so teams will still have an idea if they are buyers and sellers. 

I am just a fan of moving things forward and narrowing the window on deadlines.  I think by doing this it would make a more exciting off-season with a lot more action.  It would also leave the GM meeting to discuss trades rather than free agency which in turn increases the expectancy of trades.


I feel if Major League Baseball changed, added, and developed these things it would not only make the sport more appealing to die-hard fans like myself but to the average or even new fan.  The changes vary from significant to minor but adding all 10 would have such a positive impact on baseball as a whole.


Until Next Time…