Ok, enough said about the Astros, managers being fired, banging on garbage pails and players with buzzers. Granted there is so much to talk about with all of that but it’s time to get back to the game itself.
One of the things that intrigues me about the 2020 season, is the beginning of a new era of technology and basic rule changes coming to baseball. This year we will see the introduction of a new pitching rule.The new MLB three-batter minimum rule will require pitchers to face at least three hitters or pitch to the end of a half-inning before a pitching change can be made. All with the thought of speeding up the game.
This whole speeding up the game thing just irks the heck out of me. What’s the hurry? You drive in traffic to Yankee Stadium for an hour or so using about $10 of gas round trip. Then you pay $16 to go across a bridge, nice views of the city are free. You pay $45 to park. You have your two kids and wife with you. The average price for a ticket is $80 so now it costs you $320 to get into the ballpark and you haven’t seen anything yet. Hungry? $50 to $60 for sodas, beer and hotdogs. Kid wants a hat? $20 each. Let’s just stop right here and do a little second grade math.
Badda-boom, You just spent about $500 and they haven’t chalked the foul lines yet. That is first class money to the average family who travels economy. If I fly first class, I want the plane to circle the airport 10 times so I get my money’s worth. In other-words, I want the game to go into extra innings. I want to see pitching changes. I want to see the lights illuminate the field as the moon comes up over the right field grandstand.
Phew, glad I got that out of my system. Granted the amount of pitching changes will go down and managers such as Terry Francona and Joe Madden will have to adjust their managerial thinking and some pitchers who are on the roster just to pitch to a lefty, may be opening up food trucks in Miami this year.
Some changes are interesting. I never thought I would see the day that MLB would cut Commercial breaks during innings by 20 seconds to 2 minutes. When I told My dentist Dr. Steven Scutari that he said: “The owners must have been at a two-fers happy hour at Foley’s Pub when they agreed to that one.” Nice to have a dentist who makes you laugh.
Change is all part of the game. Baseball like every other sport is always making changes to please the fans. We have seen changes that are not so nice yet necessary. Like the heightened security at all ballparks. I know that for me, if my credential badge flips around and my picture is not visible, I will be asked to turn it around. By security people who know me and see me every day. That’s just the way it is.
Some of the changes will not even be noticed by the fans. Like the Robo-ump that will be calling balls and strikes in the next few years. I attended a number of games in the Independent Atlantic League last year where they were using that technology. I couldn’t tell the difference from when it was not used. We will get used to that and other changes. Though I don’t think I will ever get used to moving the pitching rubber back 24 inches. Yes, there is talk of doing that.
One thing that will remain unchanged is the excitement of going to a game. The basic game will always be the same. Only 25 days until pitchers and catchers!