If I ran the game the Used Car Salesman would be out on his ass, banned for life from every major league park. Need I say more?
- Bud wouldn’t be the only one out of a job. Roughly half the umpires would be canned, along with Tim McCarver. Fox would lose TV rights for its overproduced and saccharine presentation of the game; the replacement network would be required to hire Smoltzie as an analyst.
- The Cubs would be forced to re-hire Chip Caray; Red Sox fans would be saddled with John Sterling. Yankees fans, meet Bob Rathbun.
- Instead of adding playoff teams I’d subtract two, returning to the old two division format in each league. The winner of each would advance to the playoffs, with the AL and NL teams with the best record getting a bye. The wild card winner would play the other division champ in a best-of-three, followed by a best-of-seven LCS.
- Every World Series game would start by 7:30 EST — pointless pre-game shows be damned.
- The ship has sailed on a salary cap, but teams that receive financial aid from the evil empires must direct that money to payroll. No more welfare kings.
- An asterisk would be placed beside Barry Bonds’ name so future generations will never doubt the identity of the true home run champ.
- If Roger Clemens or Mark McGwire ever get into the Hall of Fame then so must Pete Rose and Joe Jackson. Actually, Jackson gets in regardless.
- “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” would be banned from every stadium playlist. Naturally that means the deejay at Turner Field would be shitcanned (there are consequences to playing the “Friends” theme song). Speaking of unemployment, between innings host Mark Owens would be replaced by the great Walter Banks.
- No more corporate ownership, with local ownership options exhausted before selling to carpetbaggers.
- Red Sox caps would be confiscated in all parks not named Fenway.
- The All-Star game and World Baseball Classic would be merged, with a U.S. team opposing a world club each July. It wouldn’t “count” but would be a helluva lot more interesting.
- I’d leave the DH alone. Differences in the two leagues are interesting. If the NL team in the World Series has the best record, the pitcher hits. If the AL team has more wins, the DH reigns. Home field would be awarded to the team with the best record. Duh!
- Six interleague games per team, tops.
- While contraction would probably be good for the game, I wouldn’t want to take baseball away from any fan. But Toronto would have to replace its turf, Tampa would have to get a new stadium and San Francisco would have to cede San Jose to the A’s.
- No more trading on tired “Field of Dreams” imagery. The movie sucks and, while nostalgia plays a role in promoting the game, baseball has to stop wallowing in sepia toned mythology.
- Greg Maddux would be universally recognized as the greatest living pitcher.
- Ted Turner would be forced to repurchase the Braves, ban the wave, destroy the Chick-fil-A cow, increase payroll and name Greg Maddux manager. Might I suggest Larry Wayne Jones (Sr. or Jr.) as hitting coach and Greg’s older brother Mike as junior pitching tutor?