Stop the madness: Hitters need to figure it out on their own
Apparently there's a whole lot wrong with major league baseball these days.
Too many strikeouts. Not enough scoring. Games are too long. The dreaded shift.
So we get plenty of howling, with the latest barks at the moon coming from the Cubs' Jed Hoyer, whose team has a hysterically low batting average of .184.
The pitchers are too good! Those darn Moneyball devotees are moving fielders in our way!
Somebody do something -- fast!
Please. Isn't the ridiculous extra-inning rule and the universal DH bad enough?
How about hitters learn to hit the other way? Or learn to bunt? How about YOU adjust instead of forcing the game to adjust to your "launch-angle, OPS+" modern-day garbage?
Novel concept, right?
I mean if you want to increase scoring, then I've got a few more suggestions:
• Shorten the bases to 55 feet. Or 50. Heck, why not 40?
• Move the walls into 280 feet. Or 250. Little League scores will be everywhere.
• Juice the balls. Even more.
• Legalize the corking of bats. Or allow aluminum bats!
• Forget moving the mound back a foot. Move it to 65 feet. Or 70. Or to second base.
• Turn the clock back 120 years and don't count foul balls as strikes. That was a rule pre-1900.
But guess what?
Believe it or not, there's nothing wrong with a well-pitched 3-2 game. Strategy comes into play. Every at-bat matters.
It's thrilling, edge-of-your seat drama that may actually not run the length of two feature films.
All of this reminds me of the NBA's scoring problem in the mid-1990s. In its infinite wisdom the league moved the 3-point line in almost 2 feet, thinking that would do the trick.
But it had the opposite effect, with everyone suddenly believing they were Steve Kerr or Craig Hodges. The problem was there weren't many good shooters because an entire generation grew up watching Michael Jordan.
Chicks dug the dunks. Not so much the 3-pointer.
Now everything's changed. Suddenly shots are consistently drained from 25, 30, even 35 feet.
Some love it. I hate it, but only because the NBA has effectively outlawed defense.
The point is players evolved.
So let's see hitters do the same. Figure it out yourselves, guys, and don't expect the powers that be to ride to the rescue.
Because, honestly, the game is great as it is. Or was.
Stop screwing around with it just because we suddenly have a bunch of Dave Kingmans lumbering to the plate.
Guys will adjust. Eventually.
And then we'll realize that -- surprise! -- there's really nothing wrong with America's Pastime.