I remember the days of old, listening to Mel Allen announce the NY Yankee games on radio. There’s the windup, in comes the pitch, BAM goes the crack of the bat on ball, it’s a long high fly to right center; that ball is going, going–it’s gone into the upper deck in right center. Similar wonderful descriptions of Allen’s brought the Yankees national recognition and fame.
Today I get sports media talking about what is wrong with baseball. It is rules and regulations that made it safe and great until along came the tinkerers who couldn’t stop fiddling with it by overloading it with more regulations and rules.
Baseball evolved out of a sandlot type sport to become the national pastime. The major league was made up of all white players in two divisions: American and National Leagues with the powerful Negro League segregated but with much talent as well. Eventually the Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson and Cleveland hired Larry Doby which broke the color barrier forever in the major leagues.
Due to injuries mostly, the rule that 2nd base had to be touched while completing a double play was changed to one of just being near the base and so tolerated by umpires and fans. Bat handles were made thinner for a speedier swing and shin guards were introduced to help avoid spiking during slides. The softer cover on balls and interior were made harder so balls would be more firmer and livelier. Artificial turf in some ball parks replaced the grass and dirt field which made the ball speed react even more. Helmets and batting gloves were introduced. Players could leave the batter box and adjust gloves etc.
The old gas house gang type spirit seems to be blunted by the big pay checks. And teams were managed with the introduction of the high pitch count theory and the wealth of supplying more specialized relief pitchers. It became a game of talent, big bucks, and big revenues reaped in from TV coverage and advertising.
As noted, a great many improvements have been made from those sandlot days. But the rules and regulations grow ever more to what I see as delay of game. The latest was the introduction of video replay of a call or if a homerun was fair or foul.
I would like to suggest that starting pitchers must work at least seven innings before a relief pitcher can be called in. That would create more action on the base paths and likely more runs. But it would be fair to both teams. The fans would get more thrills and quality pitching retained. There would be high scoring and low scoring games alike through the season with livelier fan excitement generated, higher batting averages and other stats.
Any feedback on my suggestion pro and con welcome!