By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter
OAKLAND — Remember most of us were once the younger fan. We remember our first MLB game, remember our first World Series, and remember meeting our first player. This will be lost if MLB does not change.
“Baseball being baseball” does not get it. They have lost at least two generations of younger potential fans and they are working on their third generation. The sport of soccer is closing in on baseball and the Lords of the game continue to turn a blind eye.
Here are the following changes that should be discussed
11) Either institute the (DH) designated hitter rule in both leagues, or not at all.
Major league basketball, football, and hockey have unified league rules while baseball continues to have this diverse rule. MLB should follow the National Football League. The NFL merged with the old (AFL) American Football League in 1970. They combined a set of rules from both leagues. “Baseball being baseball” has not shown any interest to unify anything.
The baseball union would fight this change if they want to drop the DH because it means that players who DH’s in the American League would lose their jobs. High schools, colleges, and the minor leagues all have the DH in place. Run production has almost doubled in the majors since 1978.
This is the only professional sport in America that has two different rules.
12) Should the “Steroid Era,” players be denied a place in Baseball’s Hall of Fame just as Shoeless Joe Jackson, just as Pete Rose and now most likely Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Lamar Bonds. Let’s make it clear Pete Rose should be in the Hall for his accomplishments on the field. The same should apply to Barry Bonds but baseball being baseball only time will tell . Yes baseball should let these men in the Hall of Fame because they changed the game.
In 1961 the argument about Ruth’s home run record being shattered by fellow New York Yankee Roger Maris on the last weekend of the season was marked by an asterisk for many years. Why? because Maris played more games then Ruth. The same should apply to the Steroid Era players, just leave an asterisk next to their names. In time the asterisk will disappear just as it did with Maris.
13) Reduce inter-league play to a 14 game two-week format. These games tarnish what the World Series meant. The mystery of the city, the mystery of the home teams ballpark and the mystery of opposing players.
Presently the inter-league games of interest to most fans are the inter-city rivalries for example teams like the Mets-Yankees; Cubs-White Sox; Giants-A’s; Orioles-Nationals, Dodgers-Angels.
Other examples are the inter-state rivalries like the Cardinals-Royals; Reds-Indians; Rays-Marlins and ending with the Rangers-Astros who are now in the same division. It was fun to watch the Toronto Blue Jay-Montreal Expo series in the 1990’s a Canadian battle.
The question remains what do you do with the other teams that don’t have geographical rivalries? Examples are the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, and the Seattle Mariners.
14) Owners that want to build a new stadium he/she ( owner) should financially invest in the building of that stadium. What New York City did in the 1990’s was an outrage.
The city built not one but two new stadiums for the Mets and Yankees the same year. Then they asked the residence of New York City to pay for both of them. They added insult to injury displacing minority residents by destroying their neighborhoods.
15) Owners of new stadiums should resist the installation of Astro- turf or building indoor-domed ball parks. The game of baseball was design to be played outside on natural grass. Three teams have addressed this issue with retractable roofs in their new stadiums.
16) Boston‘s Fenway Park and Chicago‘s Wrigley Field are the last original stadiums and should never be demolished. They should stand as baseball museums for the American and National Leagues.
17) Baseball should make every effort to bring the game back to the average fan and to children.
Ticket prices have gone through the roof, with the Yankees and Mets being the highest priced seats in both leagues. Teams should have family fun days, and more weekday games. The Oakland Athletics continue to be fan friendly with day games and lower ticket prices.
18) Home teams should NEVER wear dark or black uniforms at home. They also should not wear softball uniforms i.e. Oakland A’s, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Atlanta Braves. The home team are the good guys, this practice of wearing dark or black uniforms formulated from spring training games where every team put on their dominate color. Let’s not kid ourselves they are wearing their dark or black jerseys to promote the selling of these jerseys. A marketing scheme that seems to be working, baseball understands money.
19) A time clock might be included to speed up the game. A four hour game is just too long. When the Oakland A’s play the Boston Red Soxs, they set records for time. This new rule would force the batter to stay in the box and the pitcher to stay on the mound. It would also limit the manager’s visit to the mound.
Even professional tennis understands this and installed a time clock to speed up their game.
20) MLB should schedule its Divisional League playoffs, League Championship playoffs, and World Series games at an earlier time so younger fans can watch their favorite team on television or attend the ballpark.
“Baseball being baseball” still does not get it.
Special thanks to all that have made this my 800th article on Black Athletes Sports Network
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod