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Stray Thoughts (And Deep Cats)

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox
“Tastes like umpire.”
Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

“Baseball is too slow!” complains the young sports fan, who took a break from trashing their own friends on Instagram and watching sound bytes from a movie to avoid having to watch the whole thing, in order to weigh in. “I don’t have time to sit there while oh wow that’s shiny hey did I post a picture of my breakfast yet?”

OK so the problem isn’t baseball, it’s modern society, but still...we all have our limits. I remember watching “The English Patient” and thinking I had just wasted 2 perfectly good years of my life. No one really wants to sit there and watch Mark Canha adjust his batting gloves while waiting for the pitcher to return to the mound from his pensive stroll vaguely towards shortstop to decide whether to throw a slider or take another pensive stroll this time vaguely towards second base.

So in the new CBA I hope to see some smart rules added that will speed up the game in the ways it actually needs to be sped up. Some ideas:

- During an at bat if a player leaves the batter’s box the pitcher can, at any time, call out “Red light!” and the batter must freeze. He must then hit from there for the rest of the at bat. If the batter does not freeze within one second the umpire can call a “hitter’s balk” and all runners must retreat one base. If the bases are empty, the batter retreats to third base and must hit from there.

- If a pitcher steps off the rubber, the batter can, at any time, call “Red light!” and the pitcher must freeze. The pitcher must then throw the next pitch from there, starting his windup or stretch from whatever direction he happens to be facing. If the pitcher does not freeze within one second the umpire can call a “balk fowl poultry violation” and the pitcher is slapped with a rubber chicken seven times by the opposing team’s mascot while all runners do the macarena and advance a base if they finish before the seventh slap. If the bases are empty, the rubber chicken is replaced by a real chicken.

- Endless pickoff throws to 1B are annoying, so let’s put in a series of gambles. With each new at bat, for the first pickoff throw it is a force play. But if the runner survives that, the second pickoff throw is a tag play and if the runner is safe, first base is moved one foot closer to second base and is moved one more foot with each unsuccessful pickoff attempt.

- The National Anthem, which takes too long, is replaced with singing Happy Birthday twice, which we know takes 20 seconds. Instead of standing with their caps over their hearts, players and coaches wash their hands with soap.

I also have ideas for improving the accuracy of balls and strikes. Laz Diaz calls whether he judges the pitch to be a ball or a strike and then it is the opposite.

Clearly I should be Commissioner, because I am setting up a 2-hour baseball game no one will want to miss. Though Laz Diaz might still miss it because he is accidentally facing the backstop.

How do you favor speeding up the game? Or do you? Let us know by replying to the photo of my breakfast: #balkfowlpoultryviolation