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George Hale Talks Possible Changes to Baseball 

THE FOOTBALL SEASON JUST ENDED IN SPECTACULAR FASHION.

PRO HOCKEY AND BASKETBALL HAVE PLENTY OF GAMES LEFT THIS SEASON.
BUT GEORGE HALE HAS YET ANOTHER SPORT ON HIS MIND…GEORGE:
“LIKE MOST PATRIOTS FANS I’M STILL ON A HIGH AFTER THE GREAT SUPER BOWL COMEBACK CHAMPIONSHIP WIN.

BUT LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN LIFE IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT THING.

AND FOR ME THAT’S BASEBALL.

YES EVEN THOUGH WE ARE BURIED IN THE WHITE STUFF AT THE MOMENT.

SPRING TRAINING IS ONLY THREE DAYS AWAY.

THE SOUND OF THE BALL HITTING THE BAT AND THE THUMP OF A BASEBALL INTO A GLOVE IS MAGICAL FOR MANY OF US.

BASEBALL IS WHAT LITTLE BOYS PLAY WITH THEIR FATHERS ALMOST FROM THE TIME THEY CAN WALK.

BASEBALL IS MORE THAN A SPORT TO THOSE WHO LOVE IT…IT’S A SUMMER DANCE WHERE ALL THE STEPS ARE KNOWN AND PRACTICED OVER AND OVER.

SO IT’S NO SURPRISE WHEN I SAY—- DON’T MESS WITH BASEBALL.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS FOSTERING A PROPOSAL TO THE PLAYERS UNION TO BRING INTO THE GAME TWO CHANGES.

THE FIRST WOULD RAISE THE LOWER PART OF THE STRIKE ZONE TO THE TOP OF THE BATTERS KNEES.

THIS WOULD RAISE THE ZONE BY TWO INCHES.

I GUESS THEY ASSUME UMPIRES WILL CALL IT THAT WAY.

THE OTHER CHANGE INVOLVES THE INTENTIONAL WALK RULE.

INSTEAD OF LOBBING FOUR PITCHES TO THE CATCHER WHO STANDS OUTSIDE THE CATCHERS BOX THE BATTER WOULD BE WAIVED ON TO FIRST BASE.

THE WHOLE PLAN IS TO SPEED UP THE GAME ACCORDING TO THE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER ROB MANFRED.

SO LET’S LOOK AT IT.

THE INTENTIONAL WALK CHANGE, IF ADOPTED, WOULD SAVE EXACTLY ONE MINUTE ON AVERAGE.

SURE, IT’S ANTIQUATED BUT I HAVE SEEN A PITCHER THROW THE BALL AWAY.

RARELY A BATTER WILL SWING AWAY ON A MISPLACED PITCH BUT IT HAPPENS.

CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE IS A MUCH BIGGER DEAL.

THE LEAGUE THINKS IT WOULD CAUSE MORE BALLS TO BE IN PLAY AND CREATE MORE ACTION IN THE GAME.

PERSONALLY I THINK BASEBALL HAS PLENTY OF ACTION NOW.

BUT LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE DUMBEST THING THE BASEBALL MOGULS ARE TOYING AROUND WITH.

THIS SUMMER, IN SOME ROOKIE LEAGUES, BASEBALL WILL EXPERIMENT WITH PUTTING A RUNNER ON SECOND BASE AT THE START OF EXTRA INNINGS.

NOT A WALK, NOT A HIT, NOT AN ERROR JUST GO AHEAD AND AWARD THE LEADOFF BATTER SECOND BASE.

AND WHY WOULD WE DO THIS INSANITY?

TO SHORTEN THE GAME TIME.

NOW I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT WHEN I ATTEND OR WATCH A BASEBALL GAME THE LAST THING I’M WORRIED ABOUT IS HOW LONG IT’S TAKING.

GENERALLY I’M UNHAPPY WHEN IT’S OVER.

BUT LET’S ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.

THE AVERAGE AGE OF A MAJOR LEAGUE FAN HAS RISEN TO 56 YEARS OF AGE AND THE OWNERS ARE FREAKING OUT.

YOUNGER PEOPLE ARE USED TO SMART PHONES, INSTAGRAM AND SOCIAL MEDIA THAT HAPPENS IN THEIR FAST-PACED LIFE.

THE BASEBALL GAME I WAS TAUGHT WAS YOU EARNED EVERYTHING YOU GOT AND THAT CARRIED OVER INTO REAL LIFE.

THE VERY IDEA OF PUTTING A PLAYER ON BASE WHO DID NOTHING TO EARN IT UNDER THE STANDARD RULES BORDERS ON INSANITY.

IF THERE IS ANY LESSION IN SPORTS THAT WE TEACH OUR KIDS IS THAT HARD WORK WILL PAY OFF AND YOU DON’T GET REWARDED FOR DOING NOTHING.

IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN A PARTICIPATION TROPHY.

IF BASEBALL IS HELLBENT ON SPEEDING UP THE GAME THEN DUMP INSTANT REPLAYS WHERE SOME GUY HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY TAKES AN ETERNITY TO FIGURE OUT IF A RUNNER WAS SAFE OR OUT AT SECOND BASE.

IT’S PROPER FOR BASEBALL TO LOOK AT WAYS TO MAKE BASEBALL ATTRACTIVE BUT LEAVE THE BASICS ALONE BEFORE YOU ALIENATE THOSE OF US WHO VIEW THE GAME AS
SOMETHING MORE THAN A FEW HOURS OF KILLING TIME.

I GREW UP WATCHING BASEBALL IN THREE DIFFERENT MAJOR LEAGUE PARKS WITH MY FATHER AND BROTHER.

WE WERE NOT WEALTHY BUT COULD AFFORD THE GAME, SCORE CARD AND A HOT DOG.

THAT EXPIERIENCE TODAY COSTS $211.68 ON AVERAGE FOR A FAN.

MISTER COMMISSIONER THERE’S YOUR PROBLEM…NOT THE LENGTH OR SPEED OF THE GAME.

MAKE THE GAME AFFORDABLE AGAIN.

IN THE MEANTIME PLEASE LEAVE THE GAME ALONE!!

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS”