Sports Briefs: An Rx for Baseball

(Sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Joe: When asked how Rob Manfred is doing as MLB Commissioner, my first thought is “Rob who?” He must be doing well in a smooth transition, because I haven't heard of any major changes or snafus.

Chris: Not to speak raunchy of Major League Baseball's former “commissioner,” whose lasting achievement was either canceling the 1994 World Series or managing to assume the title of commissioner by declaring squatter's rights on the position, but there were many qualified individuals and/or inanimate objects who could have done a better job than Bud Selig. Rob Manfred is a better choice. "Baseball Tonight's" Web Gem Jimmy would be a better choice. Web Gem Jimmy's crown would be a better choice.

Brad: I feel Rob Manfred is doing a fantastic job to start his campaign as commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Ralphie: I think he must be invisible because I've never even heard of him.

Brad: The main reason I believe Mr. Manfred is doing such a good job is due to the new pace of play rules. At first I must admit I was skeptical of the idea, but after watching the first 40 games of my beloved Mariners, I can honestly say they have caught the game up to modern times.

Chris: Having recently seen an umpire (trying to adhere to baseball's new pace of play rule of keeping the batter in the box) eject Bryce Harper for stepping out of the box so he could fondle his equipment, and then Harper's manager, Matt Williams, expressing displeasure towards the umpire for adhering to the rules, I would have liked to see lengthy suspensions for both Harper and Williams. This would have provided Harper the time he needs to cultivate a relationship with his equipment. Fans come to see Harper hit; they don't come to see him romance his batting gloves.

Joe: If I were baseball commissioner, I would step up the enforcement on rules violations by more investigations and consistent enforcement. I would treat legal violations as innocent until proven guilty and let the public judicial system work first, before MLB takes action.

Ralphie: I would love to be the baseball commissioner. I'd have a Little League partnership with the MLB where young players like me could buddy up with major league teams and build skills and grow as ball players.

Brad: If I were the commissioner of baseball, I would shorten each field by 100 feet, going from 400 to 300 feet. Why, you may ask . . . well, the answer is simple; everybody loves watching the players hit dingers. What’s more exciting than watching Nelson Cruz smack a nice, beefy hanging slider in the middle of the plate in the upper deck?

Chris: When I was in junior high and high school, baseball was my favorite sport. Not only could I name the Rangers' ideal batting order by memory, I could perform the same menagerie of meaninglessness for all the then-28 teams. I would watch baseball games straight through, read the box scores in the newspaper the following day and had enough trading cards to consider constructing a small hut out of cardboard. This was before the Internet, before having more than 50 TV channels to choose from and before two expansion teams in Arizona and Tampa decided variations of purple and green as uniform colors were stylish.

Joe: I would rather play baseball than watch it on TV, but I am too old now to play, so I watch and enjoy.

Brad: Personally, I enjoy watching baseball on TV very much; in fact, I haven’t missed a Mariners game all season.

Chris: Managers whose behavior can cause them to be confused for Donald Duck having a temper tantrum should receive elongated suspensions. If Lloyd McClendon were an NBA coach, the Mariner Moose would be managing in Seattle right now. All NBA players leaving the bench during a quarrel are suspended, and all MLB players leaving the dugouts or bullpens should also partake of that luxury.

Ralphie: I would watch baseball (or play baseball) 24/7. I love every single second of it, and I look at the time I spend watching baseball as study time.

Chris: Playing baseball, even by oneself, is more stimulating than watching 17 attempted pickoff throws to first base. Speeding up the game, either through a pitch clock or a series of electronic shocks administered to pitchers who don’t actually prefer pitching, would enliven the festivities. Having networks who televise games starting the broadcast two hours after the game begins and playing the tape in fast-forward, catching up simultaneously with the end of the game, would both arouse viewers with short attention spans and provide a glimpse as to what would happen if every team was comprised of vampires from the "Twilight" series.

Joe: I would watch baseball more on TV with a little between-inning entertainment, similar to in-stadium game activity. I enjoy Kiss Kam at the games on the big screen. Maybe we could come up with an in-home Kiss Kam . . . now that would be great . . .

Brad: What could be done to make me watch baseball on TV more? Well, I think it would be unhealthy for me to watch more than 162 games in a regular season.

Ralphie: Add more hours to the day!

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.
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