For years, commissioners and owners have been angling for ways to freshen the product for consumers everywhere, including in Australia, where no one gives two craps about being (no offense to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers).
From sabermetrics to a super-fail All-Star Game to today’s home plate rules to finally getting with the instant replay program to even hoping pitchers will wear helmets, as long there are guys with money and mind-power, MLB will up for thoughts and reconsideration. Granted, Major League Baseball is printing cash from Bud Selig’s unfortunate corner office, but nonetheless, there’s this story…
Some anonymous “baseball executive” decided to use ESPN’s Buster Olney as a sounding board with his cockamamie idea of baseball going to seven-inning games. Wait, what?
“I think they ought to change the games to seven innings,” he said.
Seven innings? You mean, in each game? Seven innings instead of nine?
“Seven innings,” he said again, and he went on to explain that if baseball adopted this, it could represent tonic for all the problems he sees.
Seven innings instead of nine would mean the games would finish closer to two-and-a-half hours than three hours or longer. That would be a better fit for the common attention span in 2014.
A younger audience might be more attracted to a shorter, more intense product, he said.
And now, three reasons why this guy is at least an octogenarian suffering from a fresh helping of “Good Ol’ Days” syndrome:
1. Stats. Sure, steroids ruined hitting records (even though many of us choose to ignore the juice-induced numbers — present company included) but imagine what seven innings to do pitching? How many perfect games have you seen get broken when some guy hitting in the nine-hole splashes a Texas Leaguer in the gap? No, imagine those games only lasting seven innings?! What about no-hitters? Even long relievers could do that. Pitching records would fall about as common as Barry Bonds applying some cream and clear. Yeah, not so much.
2. Money. As previously shared, Major League Baseball may as well be in the counterfeit business because it has its own mint. Cut off two innings and you cut off millions of dollars. How? TV contracts. They pay for less camera time and the networks get less advertising. There’s the MLB Network and all the baseball pre-game and post-game shows. There’s ESPN Baseball Tonight, Tomorrow, This Afternoon and whenever else they choose the same highlights. And now that FOX is into the MLB playoffs with all its bajillions … yeah, not so much. Strike two.
3. Beer. Ever been to a game with a few guys and then the seventh inning is looming, so what happens? The mad exodus to the concession stands to purchase the equivalent of a keg before last call. What happens if last call was in the fifth inning? Poor guys are just overcoming their buzz from tailgating by then, and now you are looking at another run to the brew house. People won’t be in the stands to see the game because they will constantly be in line at concessions trying to get their drink on. And given security standards these days, sneaking in the cans won’t work any more, so yeah, not so much for the third time. Yeeeer out!