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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Three time outs: simple solution to many problems.

Three time outs per team per nine innings.  Remember, one of my proposed constitutional amendments for team sports: no overtime in the regular season.

Time outs are to be taken literally.  Example:

Brett Gardner leading off for the Yankees on the road.  Gardner, of course, takes the first pitch, then mindless goes for a walk without bothering to even ask for time.  The ump mindlessly does nothing to indicate that he has called time because he has not and the pitcher most bizarrely does not immediately throw a pitch right down Broadway and force the negligent umpire to call a strike on the missing batter.

Under my three time out rule: Gardner has taken an implied time out.  If his manager Joe Girardi comes out of the dugout to protest, that's another time out.  Only one more time out left for the rest of the game.

This scenario is assuming that some of my previous recommendations have not yet been implemented:
- batter: you step out, you're out; no one foot in, whatever that means to the younger, smarter expert unimaginative guests on the commissioner's MLB Network TV programs
- no manager or coaches allowed on the playing field; in fact, get them out of uniform.  No, not naked but wearing some ghastly MLB apparel that can generate additional revenue.  It's amazing that they haven't already thought of that.

Other examples of a time out:
- catcher wants to go to the mound to talk to the pitcher
- coach wants to go to the mound to talk to the pitcher
- infielder wants to go to the mound to talk to the pitcher.

Umpires are to be ordered not to grant time out for any such purpose.

The objective is for the batter to get into the box and complete the plate appearance expeditiously.  No jerking around by anyone.

Challenges should be handled by some electronic alert, not the manager wandering out for a chat as Selig allowed in 2014 in the first season of challenges.  Let's see if new commissioner Rob "Bud Light" Manfred, the A-Rod slayer, is willing to consider this.  If Manfred acts now, he can have this set for opening day in early April.  Teams will have all of the overlong spring training to get oriented.

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