As Baseball Considers Change, It Should Look to Its Past
By JAY CASPIAN KANG MARCH 28, 2017 nytimes.com
Baseball will always have its staunch traditionalists ... their usual grouchy reasons for resisting change ...
... knee-jerk resistance to change seems to have softened a little ...
The proposals coming from Manfred’s office range from the confusing (a batter being walked intentionally goes straight to first base instead of waiting for four pitches outside the strike zone) to the reasonable (a cap on the number of trips a manager or coach can make to the mound) to the laughable (limits on the use of relief pitchers). But other than a couple of radical suggestions, like starting extra innings with a runner on second base, Manfred is really only putting forward incremental changes. The one controversial rule that will go into effect in the major leagues this year, making the intentional walk immediate, would probably shave only 15 seconds or so off every third game.
Radical? I wish. The Times writer refers to "a cap on the number of trips a manager or coach can make to the mound" as reasonable. The writer never considers the obvious: ban trips. If you suggest banning trips to a baseball fan, the likely reaction would be to ignore the suggestion and launch into a detailed explanation about how the trips should be regulated.
Baseball fans are so stuck in the mud of their thinking that they do not realize just how absurd they seem. Cap the number of mound trips! That's what this guy thinks is reasonable.
The problem isn't baseball, which is unimportant. It's that this type of compartmentalized thinking is also happening in areas that are important, like medical, legal, safety, etc. How about capping the number of times a bridge may fall down before something is done about it.
Maybe our bridges would be safer if we could ban trips to the mound.