Sometimes, just a few small-but-important modifications can go a long way. So in the spirit of being progressive, and innovative, I want to propose some minor baseball rule changes, just little tweak-y things that could enhance an already great game. I'd like to invite you to add a few ideas of your own but first, to get the conversation started, here are some of mine:
- I feel the balk needs to carry a stricter penalty. Thousands of children are watching baseball games, and they should not be given the message that it is acceptable to intentionally deceive another person. When a pitcher commits a balk, the game should be halted and the pitcher should have a quick jury trial--just brief arguments from each attorney and at most one witness, so that the game can continue without too much delay--with possible sentences ranging from Community Service (for minor infractions) to broadcasting one game along side Tim McCarver (for especially grievous violations). And of course, all runners advance a base.
- There should be a Security Inspection Checkpoint between second and third base, at which runners simply need to show a valid ID, and then slide across the X-Ray conveyor belt without their shoes, before they can proceed on to third. If you look at all the attacks on American soil throughout history, only one more has occurred in the air than has occurred on the left side of the infield--and the small sample size makes even this difference statistically insignificant. Simply put, the area between second and third is a disaster waiting to happen, so let's be proactive. Did Shoeless Joe Jackson's value just go up? When you're on second base, given all you still need to do on a base-hit to left-center field, are you really in scoring position? These become more complex and interesting questions, no?
- The "broken-bat" rule is one I have been lobbying for, literally for years. (And when I say "lobbying for, literally for years," I mean I may have mentioned it once.) It is the hitter's responsibility to arrive in the batter's box with suitable equipment. If a hitter breaks his bat in the middle of an AB, he should be required to bat with whatever is left in his hand. It's fair, it's logical, and it's funny. How often is something fair, logical, and funny all at the same time? However, in the event this rule is ever adopted by Major League Baseball, I think the A's really need to try to trade Milton Bradley before the rule goes into effect.