Major League changes

When people say that watching baseball is as boring as watching paint dry, I feel bad for paint everywhere. Nothing compares to the boredom experienced when watching a baseball, and I’ve driven through Saskatchewan on several occasions, so I know all about being bored. Even watching baseball highlights on SportsCentre tends to make me drowsy.

Major League Baseball has been around since 1871, forming the era in which baseball earned the prestige of being referred to as “America’s pastime”. This was during a time in history without television, computers, cell phones, affordable automobiles and any of the modern conveniences and distractions that we take for granted. Keeping that in consideration, I can understand why the folks from that period in time could fall in love with the sport.

Unfortunately for baseball, over the following century new technologies and professional sports burst onto the North American scene. Sports with more exciting action for spectators, like football and basketball, have become more popular as their games are not delayed for hours because of a light rain. In Canada, where only one Major League team remains, baseball is even more irrelevant as a sport.

The NFL and NBA are currently caught up in labour disputes with their player unions, leaving their respective upcoming seasons in jeopardy. For me and any other sports fans who cannot stand watching baseball, this could be the perfect storm we’ve all been fearing; with all the media coverage baseball is bound to receive, we may end up actually watching a game. In light of this devastating revelation, I think it’s only fair that professional baseball make some rule changes, for the common good of non-baseball fans. A good start would be getting rid of the dreaded rain delay.

Rampant steroid use over the past decade has voided significant baseball records and tainted the last decade and a half of baseball history. Given all the controversy, why not make some long-needed changes to the game? Allow the players to juice themselves silly. If I’m going to watch baseball, I want to watch super-human athletic freaks. Fans like me want to see towering home run hits and ’roid raging batters storming the mound.

The Knickerbocker rules were implemented in American baseball back in 1845 and are considered to be the building blocks of modern baseball as we’ve come to know it. Aside from setting fixed batting orders and giving umpires ultimate power in disputes, the Knickerbocker rules eliminated a few ancient baseball rules that should totally be reintroduced.

I would especially bring back the rule that stated base runners could be thrown out if they are struck by a ball thrown by a player on the other team. I would also allow, and encourage, base runners to initiate contact with any basemen in an attempt to break up plays and generally agitate the other team. Both are pre-Knickerbocker era rules and both should have never been removed.

It’s time for baseball to give modern sports audiences what they want: fast and exciting action!