Chron.com's Anna-Megan Raley had a posting last week dealing with what five changes you would make to baseball were you to become the commissioner. Then she lists the changes that would be made by Roy Oswalt, and Oswalt provided a somewhat decent list: decrease interdivisional matchups, shorten spring training, dump the DH, stop awarding home-field advantage in the World Series on the basis of who wins the All-Star Game, and improve the World Baseball Classic.
But me being me, and me loving baseball and hoping someday to grow up and become the commissioner, I thought I would give this list a crack. So here are the five changes I would make if I were to become the MLB Commissioner.
1. The most valuable asset for each team is its players. So no more idiotic things like hills, flagpoles in play, unpadded walls, and stands/walls that jut out at weird angles for no purpose other than it looks cool on television. Because of age, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are grandfathered in, but every other stadium, including Minute Maid Park, must come into compliance. MLB will even supply a bulldozer to Drayton McLane if Oswalt refuses to loan his out. Some of the more uneducated fans, like McLane, may not like this, but are these stupid things really worth an injury to a player that doesn't have to happen?
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2. MLB and Fox have been concerned for several years over the ratings of the All Star Game and the ratings of the World Series. Thus interleague play will be eliminated so that the All Star Game will actually be meaningful again. That should also hopefully bring back a little meaning to the World Series. This, in turn, should help improve television ratings.
3. Home field advantage for the World Series will no longer be determined by who wins the All Star Game. Instead I've got an idea that is going to blow the minds of everybody associated with baseball management: home field advantage goes to the team to finish with the best regular season record. I know, that's kind of strange sounding, but I think it might just work.
4. The rules regarding the allowable time between pitches will be enforced. There are several reasons behind this move. It will speed up the game. It will mean less time for Fox's patented Andy Pettitte nostril shot. It give Fox less time to pimp its awful programming with those candid shots of the star of Fox's soon-to-be-newest flop who just happens to be sitting in the front row right behind the dugout. This will also provide less time for Milo Hamilton to go off on some tangent about his lunch.
5. And I'm enforcing this by caveat. No ballpark combo should cost more than what is being charged for a combo at James Coney Island. If a fan can get two chili and cheese Coneys with fries and a soft drink for no more than about eight bucks, including tax, then that fan should not have to pay nearly twenty bucks for the same thing at the ballpark. And if a fan can get a 20-ounce Coke for $1.50 at the convenience stand a couple of blocks from the stadium, then that fan should not have to pay nearly five bucks for the same thing at the stadium. The same goes for the costs of bottled water, beer, and every other item that is sold at an outrageously jacked-up price at the ballpark.