Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baseball problems need a good fix

Welcome news from Major League Baseball: Commissioner Bud Selig has formed a committee to develop solutions for some of the most aggravating problems in the game today. The task force is a who's who list of baseball greats, including Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and managers Joe Torre, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia and Tony LaRussa. The wise men have a tough task ahead of them.

"The committee will have the opportunity to review and make recommendations on all aspects of the game on the field, from scheduling, to playoff formats, to umpiring, to pace of game, to instant replay and to whatever other issues the committee deems appropriate," Selig said. "There will be no sacred cows."
Fixing the playoff schedule will be high on the list. Although it benefited the Yanks during the postseason, Scioscia was openly annoyed by the number of off days built into the schedule. With him on the committee, I expect a quick recommendation to limit the number of off days. With such a change, baseball won't be able to get away with kowtowing to the wishes of its TV partners at the expense of its players and the fans.

Even more important than the creation of the committee is Selig's pledge to implement its recommendations, which may go against his personal beliefs. This is critical. Selig has resisted taking steps such as ordering a broader use of instant replay. But with the sheer volume of bad calls made in the playoffs this year sparking so much controversy, that decision may finally be out of his hands.
Thanks to Major League Baseball via Wikipedia for the photo.

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