Wednesday, August 15, 2012

5 ways to improve big league baseball

by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

I’ve loved baseball for as long as I can remember. The game is just amazing in almost every aspect. The key word in there is “almost”. Baseball is as close to perfect as any sport can be, but I’ve thought of a couple ways to improve the game.

1. Solve the DH controversy
The DH discussion is starting to get on my nerves. Should there be one? Should we take it away? I just think that that rule shouldn’t switch for each league. It’s time to choose. In my opinion, I’m fine for either one. The DH helps offense get a spark and it doesn’t let the pitcher pitch around the 8th hitter to face a far less caliber hitter in the opposing pitcher. But on the other hand, it’s always fun to see a pitcher hit and some of them are pretty darn good at it. Also, it allowed managers to pinch hit more and that makes there be more crucial decisions to make. One negative is certain hitting situations would result in taking your pitcher out where he could still pitch which may affect his stats for the worse. Another option which I know I will get some criticism for is just getting rid of inner league play. Just make it to completely separate leagues that only play in the World Series. Just a thought.

2. Two New Awards
ESPN writer Jayson Stark wrote an article the other day where he said he would vote Chapman for Cy young this year. I completely disagree because I think he’s not even the most valuable pitcher on this team but one thing that did catch my eye was him proposing an award to the baseball writers association of America. The award would basically like a Cy Young for relief pitchers. I think that’s an excellent idea. It’s a travesty that Mariano Rivera who is arguably the greatest relief pitcher ever has never won a Cy Young. In my opinion, I would name the proposed award after him. This award would finally give relief pitchers the credit they deserve. The second award is the 9th man of the year award. This would be given to the best bench player of the league much like the NBA’s 6th man of the year award. I think this would give bench players recognition because remember, it takes 25 men to win a World Series. This gives notice to the guys that don’t get all the stats but their team couldn’t win without them.

3. A New Stat
This one I think needs to be done. I have yet to find a quality stat for a relief pitcher. The “hold” is a start but I have a stat that is much better. I call it a SP (Scores Preserved). You would give a pitcher an “SP” if he is A) not the starting pitcher and B) gets three consecutive outs without giving up a run. I’ve thought this one out a lot and I think it would be perfect. One scenario that may be asked is what would happen If a pitcher pitches 3 innings? He would get 3 SP. This would give a stat to those relief pitchers that are under-valued and only used when their team is losing *cough* Alfredo Simon *cough*. I was thinking about creating a full article on this and figuring out who the leaders are this year for this stat but I’ll admit I have no idea on how to do that. So if anyone is willing to help please spread the word around and send me an e-mail at or send me a message on my twitter @cof867.

4. Five Game Series
This idea I am especially proud of because I think this could really work. The most common series in baseball are three game series which can be extremely lopsided. If team A has their #3, #4, and #5 pitcher lined up to face team B’s #1, #2, and #3 pitcher, the odds are incredibly in Team B’s favor. So if every single series is a 5 game series, every game would be an even matchup and it would give us a better understanding on which team is better. Also it would be really awesome to watch two aces go against each other every day. This idea does have a lot of holes like making scheduling extremely difficult but I think the MLB should at least look into this.

5. Instant Replay
It’s time. With technology where it is today, we’re able to see how bad Umpires are now-a-days. Some plays are just so obvious that it’s just shocking how someone could miss such an obvious call. That’s why I think managers should get something like coach’s get in football. Two challenges or something along those lines. Instead of arguing a call with an Ump (which 99% of the time doesn’t work) the manager would just ask for a challenge and the Umpires would go and review the call like they do with all homeruns. For the people that argue that it would change the game too much and take away tradition I completely see your point. But, in my opinion if we have a way to find out if a call that could impact the game is right or wrong, we should definitely use that privilege. The one thing I think challenges shouldn’t be used for is balls and strikes. Every Ump has their own strike zone and it would be impossible to review that.

So, I would love to hear your thoughts on these rule changes so please comment below. Thanks for reading!

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