Saturday, February 21, 2015

10 ways MLB could go further to help pace of the game

So I published a listicle yesterday, because conventional digital media experty wisdom says that listicles are read more than things with a lot of words strung together in these things we used to call paragraphs. Well, that's not really why. I just felt like doing a smart alecky type of thing and well, I am gonna do it again because FREEDOM!, you know?

Yesterday MLB decided it was going to CHANGE EVERYTHING and make us all eat raw hamburgers by speeding up the "pace of the game." Truth be told, and that's Truth with a capital T though you can't tell because it was the first word in this sentence, the "pace of the game" has gotten pretty ridiculous, because, you know, batting gloves. It doesn't have anything to do with the fifty gajillion commercials to which we are subjected after every three outs and sometimes even between outs when managers decide they need to let everyone play and use more than one pitcher in an inning. Chalk it up to our snowflake culture, I suppose.

While one foot in the box, timers, and challenges might have some effect on "pace of the game," here are some suggestions to make the game even faster.

10. Instead of four balls or three strikes, give Jonathan Broxton, John Axford, Joaquin Benoit, and Joel Peralta a timed at bat. If they can't finish a batter by that amount of time, the batter automatically takes his base. People more inclined to do frivolous math can decide on the time limit. Heck, why limit it to just the slowest of the slow? Time limits for everyone!

9. Make uniforms skin tight onesies. Though it might offend the more prudent-minded fans to see the human body in the clothed state closest to nude, wearing fitted clothing will shave seconds off the lengthiness of a game by eliminating the need to adjust any part of the uniform.

8. Move the bases closer together. Sure, you'd be putting the lives of infielders in danger, but just imagine how many minutes you could save by cutting off two or three seconds each time a player runs to a base!

7. Instead of the fifty "Support the Troops!(TM)" between-inning lovefests, let our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines play an inning. You'll get to do your patriotic clapping for at least a solid 15 minutes, and we can cut down on time between innings, because remember, commercials have nothing to do with the "pace of the game."

6. Penalize any batter who touches anything other than his bat with a strike. No batting gloves, no helmet, no cup adjustment. Just the bat.

5. Add a 26th man as a designated runner. Allow him to enter the game as many times as is necessary to keep the Molina brothers off the bases. We'll get to go home when it's still light out if this is implemented properly.

4. Put a twenty second time limit on home run trots. Imagine a game in which David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez both hit home runs. That's 20 seconds saved in one game, as they each take half a minute to get around the bases.

3. Require all players to wear Google Glass. I don't know how this would speed up the game, but it would look funny.

2. Turn off the hot water to the showers after 3 hours and 15 minutes. What better way to motivate players than to threaten them with cold showers?

1. Put shatter proof glass along the foul lines all the way up to the top of the foul poles and eliminate foul balls. No more ten pitch at bats - it's a free for all! Just think of how much time it will save - they'll have time to ADD more commercials. That's great! Higher revenues = higher salaries! Never mind the inevitable deaths that will result to the fielders unfortunate enough to be the recipients of a ricochet! PACE. OF. THE. GAME.

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