To Attract More Fans Major League Baseball Needs to Change
It's time to change the rules in Major League Baseball (MLB) to make the game more fun and exciting to watch. If it were up to me here are four rules I'd implement in MLB.
1. Rule: If the same player is walked more than once in a game all subsequent walks of the same player will result in the player taking two bases (second base).
The intent of this rule is to make it harder for teams to intentally walk a batter. To me it seems unfair for fans that have come to watch their favorite power hitter swing away only see them intentionally sent to first base where they are often removed as a threat. By imposing this rule teams will be less apt to walk players intentionally since placing a player on second places them in scoring position.
2. Rule: The ground rule double should become a ground rule triple.
Too many times I've seen players burned by the ground rule double. It is a real let down for the fans. The ground rule double is supposed to compensate the hitter with two bases by placing them on second base when a baseball builds over the home fence (or a fan fan interferees with a ball in play), but most often a two base compensation is not enough. For baseball hit that were strong enough to bounce over the home run wall, had the ball still been in play the hitter would most often have reached third base.
3. Rule: If two teams are still tied after 10 innings the win will go to the home team.
Okay, I know this rule is a little out there, but think about it. Why should a team struggle through extra innings only to wear themselves out for the next game? Plus, the last thing I want to see is my home team lose after many extra innings have been played. I have a heavier investment in the game after 13 innings versus 10 innings. My team better win after 13 innings or it will be a major league disappointment. By giving the win to the home field team the home field fans are more likely to go home happy and ready to see the next game. Plus, by setting it up this way it forces the visiting team to pull-out all the stops to avoid finishing the tenth inning with a tie. This in turn will make the game more fun to watch.
4. Rule: Umpires should be able to issue a strike to players who continuously step out of the batters box.
When players step out of the batter's box after every ball thrown it really slows down the game. When I see this kind of play I become less interested in the game. No doubt the reason for stepping out of the batters box is to play head games with the pitcher, but this kind of play does not work well for the fans. If a player continuously steps out of the batter's box an umpire should be able to issue warning. If it happens a second time the batter should be issued a strike.
I believe these rules would benefit MLB by making the game more exciting. It would replace the long drawn out games with games that are more fun to watch. The intentional walk rule and the ground rule triple rule would likely result in higher scoring games which may make last a little longer, but the second two rules would help to speed up the game. And, this is what the fans want and deserve – more exciting play in a shorter period of time.