Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Let's help MLB make more All-Star Game rule changes

Major League Baseball announced some changes for the beloved and occasionally glorious All-Star Game, some of which almost make sense.

The problem is that MLB didn’t go far enough.

Once again, we are here to offer our services as consultants, free of charge.

First we’ll review the new rules – and explore the real reasons they were enacted.

1) The designated hitter will be used every year, regardless of the host ballpark’s league. I call this the “Ortiz-Giambi Rule.” MLB is no doubt yielding to pressure from the Red Sox and Yankees to allow their defense-challenged stars to appear as more than pinch-hitters when the game is in the National League parks, since trying to throw them on the field would likely expose the players – and probably the fans – to injury or show just how horribly one-dimensional these guys are.

Someone had to tell Big Papi which hand the mitt went on.

2) Any pitcher selected to the team who starts a regular season game on the Sunday immediately preceding the game will not be eligible to pitch, and will be replaced on the roster. The pitcher will be recognized as an All-Star, will be welcome to participate in festivities and will be introduced in uniform. This allows Bud Selig to stop lying about Barry Zito coming up with pretend, last-minute “injuries” so he can succumb to Yankee pressure and add Roger Clemens to the roster. (See Chicago, 2003)

3) Rosters will be expanded from 33 players to 34 players, consisting of 21 position players and 13 pitchers. Last year's 33-man rosters consisted of 20 position players and 13 pitchers. This way, when Yankee managers like Joe Torre clutter the roster with undeserving middle relievers from his own team, there’s still room for members of the Royals and Blue Jays. (See Nelson, Jeff.)

4) In addition to the existing injured catcher rule, one additional position player who has been selected to the team will be designated by each manager as eligible to return to the game in the event that the last position player at any position is injured. This allows the American League manager some flexibility after burning through his reserves by the fifth inning because Derek Jeter plays his three innings then hits the road.

OK, these are a good start. Now let’s roll up our sleeves and help some more with rules that MLB has somehow overlooked.

1) We accept that ESPN is going to assign Chris Berman to do play-by-play for the Home Run Derby. Not even MLB is powerful enough to stand up to ESPN and demand actual baseball announcers at its baseball events. But, perhaps, it can demand that Berman only use his signature “back-back-back-back-back-back” call for hits that have a shot at leaving the infield.

2) No Padres “closer” shall be allowed near the mound unless the National League is ahead by 10 runs and there are two outs in the ninth inning. We’re playing for home field advantage in the World Series here, and I’m tired of NL teams losing the series because Trevor “Bleeping” Hoffman and Heath “Bleeping” Bell think they’re throwing batting practice.

3) Because that home field in the Series thing exists, only players whose teams have a shot at being in said Series shall play in the final three innings. I’m tired of seeing all the good players like David Wright ripped from the game so the Pirates’ sole team representative gets in the game when everything is on the line. Home series advantage should be decided by the league’s best players, and not the guys on the fringe of the roster.

Have the people who desinged the jerseys used in San Francisco ever seen a suspension bridge? Willie Mays, on the right, is saying, "That's funny, guys. Where are the real jerseys?"

4) Batting practice jerseys and caps must be designed in a way that does not bring shame and embarrassment to the players wearing them.

5) Groundskeepers must have a special tarp available in the press box for when Mariano Rivera and his understated dignity enter the game and Bob Klapisch gets loose with applause that falls upon the closer like soft rain.

6) Sidewalk art will happen. There’s no stopping it. But no city’s beloved landmark must end up looking like it has been vandalized. This shall be known as the Lady Liberty Rule.

7) The collectible All-Star Game program shall be limited to one cover per year. MLB has decided to soak collectors, going from one cover to about five to an obscene 31 for the past couple seasons. Treat fans with respect, please.

That's a good start.


Caryn said...

Ohhh, you haven't seen this year's ASG statue art yet, have you?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bud. Since I know you're reading this, if you REALLY want to improve the All-Star Game, CUT the rosters IN HALF.

Eighteen players ought to ALWAYS be enough. (Just in case, name four players from the All-Star Game site's local team to serve as injury backups to be seen ONLY if there is an injury -- not a 10 o'clock flight to the nearest golf course.)

You're welcome.


Anonymous said...

I invite you to see my post, I hope you will find interesting too.

Radu Prisacaru said...

I want to thank you for generating a excellent post. I never commonly comment on weblogs but I felt like I required to because you made such a superior energy posting this very good data. Thank you and I'll be back once again! I invite you to see my post, I hope you will find interesting too.