Here is a subject I don’t usually write about. But recent national news stories about the L.A. Dodgers and their treatment at the hands of both owner Frank McCourt and commissioner Bud Selig strike me as downright disgusting.Between Selig and McCourt, major league baseball is taking a major lethal beating. Isn’t it time to get some real changes made? Baseball is not only a business, it is also a sport. Our national sport. And it is in trouble. A big part of that trouble comes from years of exploitation. Inflate the gate, inflate the take, inflate the salaries. From a public perspective — called “the fans” — what does baseball really need?
As one fan for the better part of a century, I now see most of my games on TV. That shows me a few things that are hard to see from the bleachers. Like bad calls, splintering bats, spectator interference — as well as great catches up close, and telling facial expressions. I submit that MLB needs these three improvements:
1-the instant replay. Every manager should have a quota of opportunities to protest a call, whether it is safe or out, a ball or a strike. And every umpire should have a quota of permitted mistakes. Let the camera provide the evidence. And let the penalties mandate responsibility.
2-better wood for the batters. The crack of bat on ball is a great sound, and I would hope the majors will never have to go to metal bats. But the bats we have are breaking much too often. Is anyone researching different trees to use?
3-and most important: a new commissioner. Bud Selig has a difficult job, no question. He approached it as an owner, and runs it as an owner. Crusty old Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis had his “shticks” but he did run it as a sport. I don’t think you would catch him manipulating the leagues by moving a team he happened to own — in this case the Milwaukee Brewers — from the American to the National in order to raise its income by playing the Cubs more often. His decisions since then, from the Pete Rose case to the more recent drug cases and the economic troubles of both the Mets and the Dodgers, are questionable to say the least. Although we share a Jewish heritage, i cannot defend some of his actions.So what about McCourt? Let him sell out, settle with Jamie and go into another business. Maybe Steve Garvey’s group can do a better job. They deserve a chance.
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