Baseball is a sport that has been around for many years and with that comes great tradition and pride within the sport itself and its fans. But the old ways of Major League Baseball are falling behind with today’s audience and a few changes are needed.
Now this might in fact anger those who consider themselves to be ‘baseball purists’ but as generations continue to change so must the way the game is played.
MLB has the most number of games in a regular season and combined with spring training makes it one of the longest sports seasons. Sports fans today lack the patience that generations before them possessed. Take a look at the most prominent league in America, the National football league. With only 16 regular season games, every week counts and more and more pressure is added as the year goes on.
With a sport like baseball, a team can have a bad start or fall into a slump in the middle of the season and still find their way into the playoffs. Not only does the long season lack the excitement to keep audiences compelled, but also it puts a huge train on the players themselves and their ability to stay healthy in a season.
After spring training alone, teams had to put players on the disabled list and the season hadn’t even started yet. With how the system is set up it is almost impossible for a player to able to an entire season and not deal with an injury at some point.
For the safety of the players themselves one thing has to change, either shorten the season or cut spring training down. This would bring down the number of injuries as well as keep the number of viewers up.
The other change baseball needs to implement is one that could really upset purists and that is getting rid of having pitchers in the National League hit. A pitcher is brought in to pitch the ball not to hit.
It is ridiculous that both leagues have a different rule about pitchers hitting and having a player attempt to do something outside their skill set is only setting them up to get hurt.
Imagine a player like Justin Verlander who’s on his way to a Cy Young award but tears a muscle while at bat. Not only is a key player for the Detroit Tigers out, but a pitcher loses out on one of his best seasons doing something he isn’t even being paid to do.
Along with possibly hurting a key pitcher, its boring! No one wants to see a pitcher step into the box and strike out. People have a hard enough time focusing on a game without having a free out for every pitcher that goes up to bat.
Yes, every now and then a pitcher is able to do something cool while holding a bat in his hands but that’s very rare.
Stop having different rules for the leagues and stop forcing a player with a specific skill set do something he was not brought in to do.
If baseball wants to stay relevant, it needs to modify to its audience. Shorten the amount of games to keep people’s attention and unify the designated hitter rule for both leagues.